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A great deal of work (six years in fact, although many, many more, if the combined multiple years of experience and scholarship of the contributors to this grand volume are taken into consideration) has gone into the compilation of this comprehensive guide to the vast field of Poetics, which embraces both the theoretical and the practical study of poetry. This volume, which is the fourth edition of this leading work, is founded, as well as much expanded, on the three preceding noteworthy editions. The distinguished team of editors that refined and brought the previous work that had been done on this insightful and leading work completely up-to-date personally evaluated each and every entry in the preceding edition, which was brought out almost two decades ago, in 1993, in order to see which should be retained, which amended with information that had since become available, and which should be entirely replaced with more relevant and contemporary insights, either on long-standing topics and issues, or on ones that had emerged during the time period concerned. An outstanding feature of this work has been the amount of collaboration that has contributed towards it remaining a key work in the extensive field of poetry and Poetics. Not only have the latest contributors to this volume worked jointly on a number of the entries, but previous contributors have, on many occasions, also had their say, and have been fully acknowledged for so doing, on how, where relevant, certain entries could be made more extensive and more contemporaneous.
Of the more than 1,100 entries that fill the pages of this exceptionally well-written volume, 250 entries are completely new, attesting to the significant extent of strides in the field of Poetics that have occurred over the last two decades, including the number of new schools of thought that have emerged during this period. The coverage of international poetries and movements, and the effect of new digital media on the development of poetry and its critique, has also been broadened and made more intensive. Although the 1639+ pages of the current volume have not allowed for the inclusion of individual entries on specific poets or their works, many of the entries contain allusions to such, with the expanded and contemporized bibliographies accompanying the entries serving as a key to further perusal of supplementary and complementary material on the more specific elements involved. In addition, the brand-new index, which was lacking in the previous three editions of this magnum opus, provides access to the subtopics contained within the larger entries. The entries that the Encyclopedia contains, in alphabetical order, consist of the following types: terms and concepts; genres and forms; periods, schools, and movements; the poetries of nations, regions, and languages; and poetry in relation to other cultural forms, disciplines, and social practices, such as linguistics, religion, and science.
In short, The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics is to be thoroughly recommended, not only for its broad sweep of history and for its worldwide coverage (with much additional focus on the poetry and Poetics of Latin America, East and South Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe), but also for its clear organisation and presentation that is in keeping with sound academic principles.