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Composing Poetry: A Guide to Writing Poems and Thinking Lyrically

Author(s): Gerry LaFemina

Edition: 1

Copyright: 2016

Pages: 262

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“What I assume, you too shall assume,” Walt Whitman writes in his famous “Song of Myself,” declaring fully what the art of poetry is all about. The writer of poetry invites the reader to join in the process of the poem, invites the reader into the musings of the poet. Poetry, then, is more than just entertainment, but rather a way for the reader to see through someone else’s eyes, to hear with someone else’s ears.  It is an experience.

Composing Poetry: A Guide to Writing Poems and Thinking Lyrically is a handbook for novice writers as they learn to shape experiences for their readers and its designed to help poets find their voices and the types of poems they want to write. Filled with lively discussions of the different ways poems think, model poems, guided readings, writing prompts, and craft discussions, this book asks writers to consider not just the formal elements of poetry or just subject matter, but to consider how such things, among others, affect readers. By insisting that poetry is a means of thinking, the poem can lead to discovery for the writer and, therefore, the reader.

“Nothing new for the writer, “Frost said, “nothing new for the reader. No tears for the writer, no tears for the reader.” Whether we’re reading it or writing it, poetry is an act of discovery, an act of emotional revelation and Composing Poetry examines the ways in which various types of poems lead to different kinds of discovery.

Introduction: For Faculty
1. About This Book
2. On Writing Poetry
3. How We Engage the Poem
4. A Crafted Thing

The Primary Modes of Poetry
5. On the Lyric Poem
A. On the Personal Lyric Poem
B. On the Observational Lyric Poem
6. On the Narrative Poem
7. On the Meditative Poem
8. On the Dramatic Poem
9. On the Post-lyric/Fractal Poem

Afterthoughts
10. No Ideas but in Things
11. Elegies
12. Performance Poems
13. Final Thoughts

Appendices
1. The Five Tool Poet
2. On Meter
3. Rookeries and Red Wheelbarrows
4. A (Very) Brief Discussion of Traditional Form
5. Additional Reading

Works Cited
Index of Poets and Titles
Permissions

Gerry LaFemina

Related ISBN's: 9781465295811, 9781524908294

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