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The Art of the Poetic Line
by James Longenbach


Overview -

The Art Of series is a new line of books reinvigorating the practice of craft and criticism. Each book will be a brief, witty, and useful exploration of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry by a writer impassioned by a singular craft issue. The Art Of volumes will provide a series of sustained examinations of key but sometimes neglected aspects of creative writing by some of contemporary literature's finest practioners.  Read more...


 
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More About The Art of the Poetic Line by James Longenbach
 
 
 
Overview

The Art Of series is a new line of books reinvigorating the practice of craft and criticism. Each book will be a brief, witty, and useful exploration of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry by a writer impassioned by a singular craft issue. The Art Of volumes will provide a series of sustained examinations of key but sometimes neglected aspects of creative writing by some of contemporary literature's finest practioners.

"Poetry is the sound of language organized in lines." James Longenbach opens this provocative book with that essential statement. Through a range of examples from Shakespeare and Milton to Ashbery and Gluck Longenbach describes the function of line in metered, rhymed, syllabic, and free-verse poetry. "The Art of the Poetic Line "is a vital new resource by one of America's most important critics and most engaging poets."

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781555974886
  • ISBN-10: 1555974880
  • Publisher: Graywolf Press
  • Publish Date: December 2007
  • Page Count: 128

Series: Art of

Related Categories

Books > Literary Criticism > Poetry

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 36.
  • Review Date: 2007-12-17
  • Reviewer: Staff

A much-admired academic critic and poet, Longenbach (Draft of a Letter) contributes to this useful new series of pocket-sized writing guides with clear, swift prose that explains how poets have thought about kinds of lines; how the line, or the idea of the line, distinguishes poetry (even prose poetry) from ordinary prose; how reference to dramatic verse (especially Shakespeare’s) can help us think about verse lines on the page; and how the kinds of line he identifies—the end-stopped (punctuated) line, the “parsing” line (which follows a phrase’s syntax), and the “annotating” line (which works against it)—combine to make memorable modern poems. A set of examples from William Carlos Williams demonstrate how Williams’s freewheeling prose let him evolve from less interesting to more powerful versions of free verse. Passages from Marianne Moore, C.D. Wright, Emily Dickinson, Ezra Pound and Frank Bidart also receive incisive comment. “No particular line,” Longenbach writes, “needs to be championed at the expense of other kinds.” He tries hard—some may think too hard—not to lose any beginners: the result is a short book that could be useful in college and high school courses, while also appealing to general poetry readers. (Jan.)

 
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