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parsed(1994-08-15) - pubdate: 08/94
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pub date: 776926800
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A Poetry Handbook

A Prose Guide to Understanding and Writing Poetry

August 15, 1994 | Trade paperback
ISBN: 9780156724005
$21.00
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Description

"Mary Oliver would probably never admit to anything so grandiose as an effort to connect the conscious mind and the heart (that's what she says poetry can do), but that is exactly what she accomplishes in this stunning little handbook."--Los Angeles Times

From the beloved and acclaimed poet, an ultimate guide to writing and understanding poetry.

With passion and wit, Mary Oliver skillfully imparts expertise from her long, celebrated career as a disguised poet. She walks readers through exactly how a poem is built, from meter and rhyme, to form and diction, to sound and sense, drawing on poems by Robert Frost, Elizabeth Bishop, and others. This handbook is an invaluable glimpse into Oliver's prolific mind--a must-have for all poetry-lovers.

About this Author

A private person by nature, Mary Oliver (1935-2019) gave very few interviews over the years. Instead, she preferred to let her work speak for itself. And speak it has, for the past five decades, to countless readers. Over the course of her long and illustrious career, Oliver received numerous awards. Her fourth book, American Primitive, won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1984. She also received the Shelley Memorial Award; a Guggenheim Fellowship; an American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Achievement Award; the Christopher Award and the L.L. Winship/PEN New England Award for House of Light ; the National Book Award for New and Selected Poems ; a Lannan Foundation Literary Award; and the New England Booksellers Association Award for Literary Excellence.

ISBN: 9780156724005
Format: Trade paperback
Pages: 144
Publisher: HarperCollins
Published: 1994-08-15

Reviews

National Book Award winner Oliver ( New and Selected Poems ) delivers with uncommon concision and good sense that paradoxical thing: a prose guide to writing poetry. Her discussion may be of equal interest to poetry readers and beginning or experienced writers. She's neither a romantic nor a mechanic, but someone who has observed poems and their writing closely and who writes with unassuming authority about the work she and others do, interspersing history and analysis with exemplary poems (the poets include James Wright, William Carlos Williams, Elizabeth Bishop, Marianne Moore and Walt Whitman). Divided into short chapters on sound, the line, imagery, tone, received forms and free verse, the book also considers the need for revision (an Oliver poem typically passes through 40 or 50 drafts before it is done) and the pros and cons of writing workshops. And though her prose is wisely spare, a reader also falls gladly on signs of a poet: ``Who knows anyway what it is, that wild, silky part of ourselves without which no poem can live?'' or ``Poems begin in experience, but poems are not in fact experience . . . they exist in order to be poems.'' (July)

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