Poems, Poets, Poetry: An Introduction and Anthology

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2002-01-11
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
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- An introduction to poetry by a renowned critic and teacher. Recognized internationally as one of America's greatest literary critics, Helen Vendler is a frequent reviewer of poetry for The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books. Poems, Poets, Poetry reflects her teaching to thousands of undergraduates in the core poetry course that she has taught at Harvard since 1981.- An innovative approach to reading and writing about poetry. Part One begins with a unique demonstration: Vendler first reads a dozen poems to show how they represent life events, then rereads the same dozen poems to reveal how poets use language to transform those events into memorable art. The author devotes the rest of the text to unfolding poetry's layers: formal, thematic, linguistic, lyric, social, historical, and evaluative. To illustrate this, Vendler examines 65 poems, and provides prompts to help students read 106 others. Two new chapters in Part Two illuminate ways to think and write about both individual works and groups of poems.- An ample and diverse anthology of 268 poems by 128 poets. Spanning eight centuries of English-language poetry, the anthology in Part Three offers a broad choice of canonical and contemporary selections that includes one of the most extensive collections of multicultural American poetry available in an introductory text.

Author Biography

HELEN VENDLER, critic and scholar of English-language poetry from the seventeenth century to the present, is A. Kingsley Porter University Professor at Harvard University–the first woman to hold a University Professorship, the highest academic distinction Harvard bestows. She has been poetry critic of The New Yorker since 1978, and has been a member of the Pulitzer Prize jury for poetry. Author of ground-breaking scholarly studies on George Herbert, John Keats, Wallace Stevens, William Butler Yeats, Shakespeare's sonnets, and Seamus Heaney, she won the National Book Critic's Circle Award for Criticism in 1981, and her criticism has been collected in several volumes, including Part of Nature, Part of Us, The Music of What Happens, and Soul Says.

Table of Contents

Preface: About This Book v
Chronological Contents xxvii
About Poets and Poetry xli
Part I An Introduction to Poetry 1(308)
The Poem as Life
The Poem as Arranged Life
Poems as Pleasure
Describing Poems
The Play of Language
Constructing a Self
Poetry and Social Identity
History and Regionality
Attitudes, Values, Judgments
Part II Writing about Poetry 309(48)
Writing about Poems
Studying Groups of Poems
Part III Anthology 357(302)
Appendices 659(38)
Appendix 1. On Prosody
Appendix 2. On Grammar
Appendix 3. On Speech Acts
Appendix 4. On Rhetorical Devices
Appendix 5. On Lyric Subgenres
Index of Authors, Titles, and First Lines 697

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