On Poetry

On Poetry

by Glyn Maxwell

Paperback(Reprint)

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Overview

“This is a book for anyone,” Glyn Maxwell declares of On Poetry. A guide to the writing of poetry and a defense of the art, it will be especially prized by writers and readers who wish to understand why and how poetic technique matters. When Maxwell states, “With rhyme what matters is the distance between rhymes” or “the line-break is punctuation,” he compresses into simple, memorable phrases a great deal of practical wisdom.

In seven chapters whose weird, gnomic titles announce the singularity of the book—“White,” “Black,” “Form,” “Pulse,” “Chime,” “Space,” and “Time”—the poet explores his belief that the greatest verse arises from a harmony of mind and body, and that poetic forms originate in human necessities: breath, heartbeat, footstep, posture. “The sound of form in poetry descended from song, molded by breath, is the sound of that creature yearning to leave a mark. The meter says tick-tock. The rhyme says remember. The whiteness says alone,” Maxwell writes. To illustrate his argument, he draws upon personal touchstones such as Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost. An experienced teacher, Maxwell also takes us inside the world of the creative writing class, where we learn from the experiences of four aspiring poets.

“You master form you master time,” Maxwell says. In this guide to the most ancient and sublime of the realms of literature, Maxwell shares his mastery with us.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674970823
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 11/21/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 649,197
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Long regarded as one of Britain’s major poets, Glyn Maxwell is the author of numerous books, including One Thousand Nights and Counting: Selected Poems (2011).

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"The most compelling, original, charismatic and poetic guide to poetry that I can remember. A handbook written from the heart by one of the true modern masters of the craft." – Simon Armitage

"It really is a tremendously good book, and should be read by anyone who writes poetry and anyone who's interested in how and why poetry is written… this is the best book about poetry I've ever read." – Adam Newey, Guardian

"Glyn Maxwell’s On Poetry, on the execution and philosophy of the art, is probably going to be a modern classic." - Spectator

"A cogent, engaging, elegantly structured, and, at times, inspiring account and defence of the poet’s art and calling." – Times Literary Review

"There are a handful of books about writing that I count among my indispensible texts: by Guy Davenport, Randall Jarrell, Durs Grünbein, Keats, Pound, Brodsky, Virginia Woolf, Fanny Burney, Eliot. I knew on about page two that this book was one of them." – Katy Evans-Bush, Poetry Review

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