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Best Words, Best Order
     

Best Words, Best Order

by Stephen Dobyns
 

In Best Words, Best Order Stephen Dobyns explains the mystery of the poet's work and the ability of poetry to communicate thought and feeling between the mind of the writer and the mind of the reader.

Overview

In Best Words, Best Order Stephen Dobyns explains the mystery of the poet's work and the ability of poetry to communicate thought and feeling between the mind of the writer and the mind of the reader.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Novelist, poet, and teacher Dobyns collects here 13 lectures in which he distinguishes between two kinds of poetry. The first is that of the French symbolists and their followers (Eliot, Pound, Stevens), who felt that "a poem was like a bright light" for the reader to bask in rather than understand. The second type of poem, and the one Dobyns himself favors, is "a small machine [made] out of words" that re-creates the poet's feelings "in another human being, any time, any place." By that standard these essays are wonderfully efficient little machines, reproducing in the reader Dobyns's deep understanding of and affection for the work of such peers as Rilke, Mandelstam, and Chekhov. The one indispensable essay, though, is the 79-page "Notes on Free Verse," an encyclopedic treatise notable for its historical sweep, erudition, and passion for the craft Dobyns himself practices so well. For literature collections.David Kirby, Florida State Univ., Tallahassee
Booknews
Dobyns works against his title as all good poets must, teasing from Coleridge's transparency the intuitive mysteries of writing poetry and making these experiences articulate. His essays exhibit the same craft and clarity as his poetry and novels, resurrecting (thank God) the importance of the reader, technical questions of pacing, tone, voice, and the less easily negotiable terrain of metaphor and its ability to transmit emotional experience. Additionally, the volume liberally samples from the ideas and work of an impressive array of poets, including specific critical readings of Rilke, Mandelstam, Chekhov, Ritsos. Dobyns relies on personal reminisces to communicate his poetic priorities, making the essays ideal for working writers and students alike. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312129323
Publisher:
Palgrave Macmillan
Publication date:
04/15/1996
Edition description:
REV
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.55(h) x 1.26(d)

Meet the Author

Stephen Dobyns is the author of eight volumes of poetry, among them Cemetery Nights and Velocities. He has also written 17 novels.

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