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Invitation to Poetry: The Pleasures of Studying Poetry and Poetics

ISBN: 978-1-4051-3163-6
256 pages
January 2008, Wiley-Blackwell
Invitation to Poetry: The Pleasures of Studying Poetry and Poetics (1405131632) cover image
For anyone who has ever wanted to become fluent in the language of poetry, Invitation to Poetry will prove an essential guide. This book:

  • Teaches the serious student how to ‘speak poetry’ through an in-depth examination of the traditional features and technical vocabulary of poetic language;

  • Examines British and American materials from the sixteenth through the twentieth centuries in order to give students a sense of a range of different period styles, poetic projects, and strategies;

  • Explicitly examines, questions and challenges the relationship of poetry to literary periods and canons;

  • Offers the technical tools essential for close reading and interpretation across a broad chronological spectrum.
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Preface.

Acknowledgments.

1. Conceptual Syntax: An Introduction to the Way Poems Invite Different Approaches and Position Readers.

2. Speaking Poetry: Night Pieces and Intertextual Conversations.

3. The Gestures and Subjects of the Sonnet.

4. The Uses of Meter and Rhythm in the Sonnet.

5. The Form of the Voice: Tone and Diction.

6. Modes, Odes, and Odic Gestures.

7. What is Pastoral?.

8. Traditions, Legacies, and Individual Talents.

9. Forests and Trees, or Playing with Poems.

Index

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Lisa M. Steinman is the Kenan Professor of English and Humanities at Reed College. A practicing poet, she has also written two highly regarded books on poetry: Masters of Repetition: Poetry, Culture, and Work in Thomson, Wordsworth, Shelley, and Emerson (1998) and Made In America: Science, Technology, and American Modernist Poets (1989). Her work has been recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and The Rockefeller Foundation.
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  • Teaches the serious student how to “speak poetry” through an in-depth examination of the traditional features and technical vocabulary of poetic language
  • Examines British and American materials from the sixteenth through the twentieth centuries in order to give students a sense of the range of different period styles, poetic projects, and strategies
  • Explores how to use poetry to grasp the concepts of literary periods and canons
  • Offers the technical tools essential for close reading and interpretation across a broad chronological spectrum
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“To the casual reader, Steinman explains how poems work; to the critical reader, why they keep working. Ranging over several centuries, styles, genres, and modes of English verse, Invitation to Poetry provides both the tools needed to ‘play with poems’ and a manual in their use.”
C. D. Blanton, University of California, Berkeley

“Lisa Steinman’s Invitation to Poetry, with its effortless scholarship and engaging manner, offers a wonderful introduction to the study of poetry. This is a beautifully-written book which offers many pleasures, and for those who read attentively, a tremendous depth of reference underpinning its argument.”
Tim Armstrong, Royal Holloway, University of London

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