How Poems Get Made

James Longenbach (Author)


A comprehensive guide to writing or reading poetry, by “one of our most lucid and important critics” (American Academy of Arts and Letters).

Why does a great lyric poem ask to be reread, even after we know it by heart? In How Poems Get Made, acclaimed poet and critic James Longenbach answers this question by discussing a wide range of exemplary poems, from Shakespeare through Blake, Dickinson, and Moore, to a variety of poets making poems today. In each chapter of How Poems Get Made, Longenbach examines a specific aspect of the poetic medium—including Diction, Syntax, Rhythm, Echo, Figure, and Tone—and shows how a poet may manipulate these most basic elements to bring a poem to life.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Forthcoming August 2018
  • ISBN 978-0-393-35520-8
  • 5.4 × 8 in / 176 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

Endorsements & Reviews

“Imagine yourself in an ideal classroom under the spell of an ideal teacher of poetry. That’s what it’s like to keep company with James Longenbach in the pages of How Poems Get Made. Gentle, learned, free-spirited, wide-ranging in taste, Longenbach roams from Anglo-Saxon poetry through the Renaissance to poets reinventing the art in English in our day.” — Rosanna Warren

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