An Exaltation of Forms: Contemporary Poets Celebrate the Diversity of Their Art

An Exaltation of Forms: Contemporary Poets Celebrate the Diversity of Their Art

by Annie Ridley Crane Finch
     
 

ISBN-10: 0472097253

ISBN-13: 9780472097258

Pub. Date: 02/20/2002

Publisher: University of Michigan Press


At once handbook, reader, and guide to the literary tastes and wisdom of poets, An Exaltation of Forms is an indispensable resource certain to find a dedicated audience among poetry lovers. The editors invited over fifty contemporary poets to select a poetic meter, stanza, or form, describe it, recount its history, and provide favorite examples. The essays…  See more details below

Overview


At once handbook, reader, and guide to the literary tastes and wisdom of poets, An Exaltation of Forms is an indispensable resource certain to find a dedicated audience among poetry lovers. The editors invited over fifty contemporary poets to select a poetic meter, stanza, or form, describe it, recount its history, and provide favorite examples. The essays represent a remarkably diverse range of literary styles and approaches, and show how the forms of contemporary English-language poetry derive from a wealth of different traditions.

The forms range from hendecasyllabics to prose poetry, haiku to procedural poetry, sonnets to blues, rap to fractal verse. The range of poets included is equally impressive--from Amiri Baraka to John Frederick Nims, from Maxine Kumin to Marilyn Hacker, from Agha Shahid Ali to Pat Mora, from W. D. Snodgrass to Charles Bernstein. Achieving this level of eclecticism is a remarkable feat, especially given the strong opinions held by members of the various camps (e.g., the New Formalists, LANGUAGE poets, feminist and multicultural poets) that exist within today's poetry community. Poets who might never occupy the same room here occupy the same pages, perhaps for the first time. The net effect is a book that will surprise, inform, and delight a wide range of readers, whether as reference book, pleasure reading, or classroom text.

Poet, translator, and critic Annie Finch is director of the Stonecoast low-residency MFA program at the University of Southern Maine. She is author of The Ghost of Meter: Culture and Prosody in American Free Verse, Eve, and Calendars. She is the winner of the eleventh annual Robert Fitzgerald Prosody Award for scholars who have made a lasting contribution to the art and science of versification.

Kathrine Varnes teaches English at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She is the author of the book of poems, The Paragon. Her poems and essays have appeared in many books and journals.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780472097258
Publisher:
University of Michigan Press
Publication date:
02/20/2002
Pages:
456
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.52(h) x 1.40(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction1
IMeters
Accentual Verse15
Syllabics: Sweeter Melodies24
Counted Verse: Upper Limit Music32
Iambic Meter39
Blank Verse46
Anapestics52
Running with Abandon: Some Notes on Trochaic Meter59
Dactylic Meter: A Mary-Sounding Sea66
Free Verse73
All Composed in a Meter of Catullus: Hendecasyllabics81
Pronouncing "Carpenter": Quantitative Meter in English86
Off the Main Road: Some Maverick Meters95
IIStanzas
"The Bravest Sort of Verses": The Heroic Couplet107
The Self-Engendering Muse: Terza Rima116
The Quatrain122
Sapphics132
Ottava Rima141
Spenser's Eponymous148
The Decima: A Poetic Journey from Spain to New Mexico156
IIIReceived Forms
The Folk Ballad167
The Ballade: Exquisite Intricacy180
The Blues188
Taking Shape: The Art of Carmina Figurata198
Gists, Piths, and Poison-Pills: The Art of the Epigram206
Ghazal: To Be Teased into DisUnity210
Haiku217
Hip-Hop Rhyme Formations: Open Your Ears223
Japanese-Style Linked Poems228
Form Lite: Limericks and Clerihews238
A Wand Made of Words: The Litany Poem242
Musical Form and Formalist Poetry247
The Pantoum's Postcolonial Pedigree254
Strange Tales and Bitter Emergencies: A Few Notes on the Prose Poem262
The Metrics of Rap272
Rondeaux and Roundels279
Sestina: The End Game290
The Sonnet297
Triolet: Trippingly on the Tongue308
Gymnastics: The Villanelle314
IVPrinciples for Formal Experimentation
Organic Form325
Fractal Amplifications334
Performance Poetry341
Beyond Found Poetry352
The List Poem359
Procedural Poetry: The Intentions of Nonintention366
Nude Formalism: A Sampler379
Oulipian Poetry385
Two American Verse Forms: The Cinquain and the Quatern391
The Low Coup as a Contemporary Afro-American Verse Form394
The Paradelle396
Predetermined Avant-Garde Forms400
Bibliography: Sources for Further Reading413
Contributors417
Acknowledgments426
Index of Names435

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