Lofty Dogmas: Poets on Poetics / Edition 1

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Compiled by three noted poets, this is an eclectic, stimulating, and informed selection of poets' remarks on poetry spanning eras, ethnicities, and aesthetics. The 102 selections from nearly as many poets reach back to the Greeks and Romans, then draw on Chaucer, Shakespeare, Sidney, and Milton, on to Shelley, Keats, Coleridge, and Poe, then Hopkins, Yeats, Eliot, Rilke, and Pound, concluding with many of our contemporaries, including Hall, Clifton, Mackey, Kunitz, and Rukeyser. The book is divided into three sections. "Musing" concerns issues of inspiration, "Making," issues of craft, from diction to meter to persona and voice, and "Mapping," the role of poetry and the poet. Headnotes at the beginning of each selection provide background information about the poet and commentary on the significance of the selection. There is also a useful appendix with a listing of essays arranged according to more specific topics. As the poets write in their introduction: "This book was intended to deepen readers' understanding of age-old poetic ideas while at the same time pointing out new directions for thinking about poetry, juxtaposing the familiar and the strange, reconfiguring old boundaries, and shaking up stereotypes."

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In my long shelf-life as a poet I have often been struck-amused, amazed, even made thoughtful-by the sharply opposing views of poets. . . . The views of the practitioners were what I was after, not those of the detached and theoretical critics. . . . Perhaps this book will invite the gestation of other texts that will fill in the blanks and expatiate further on the desire of poets to write about writing poems." -Maxine Kumin, from the Preface "Once again the brilliant Maxine Kumin and her co-editors have given us exactly what we need, this time an anthology of important works by poets on their craft. We who teach and write, edit and read will use Lofty Dogmas in full knowledge of wisdom in the gathering and delight in the words." -Hilda Raz, author of Divine Honors and TRANS, editor of Prairie Schooner "What a wonderful, valuable, and original book this is! . . . It has my highest recommendation." -Leon Stokesbury, author of Autumn Rhythm "Lofty Dogmas will introduce you to an academy of poets talking about their craft. This is a multipurpose book. It's good for teachers and students." -E. Ethelbert Miller, author of How We Sleep on the Nights We Don't Make Love
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781557287922
  • Publisher: University of Arkansas Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 456
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Deborah Brown is a professor of English at the University of New Hampshire at Manchester and author of News from the Grate. Annie Finch is director of the Stonecoast low-residency MFA program at the University of Southern Maine, and the author of a number of books, including The Body of Poetry, Calendars, Eve, and A Formal Feeling Comes: Poems in Form by Contemporary Women. Maxine Kumin is one of America's most distinguished poets. Among her many awards are a Pulitzer Prize and a Ruth E. Lilly Poetry Prize. She is the author of many poetry collections, including Connecting the Dots, Up Country: Poems of New England, and Jack and Other New Poems. She lives in Warner, New Hampshire.

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Table of Contents

Introduction : poets on poetics
To my muse, upon her return 6
from Book two, Epistle III, to the Pisos 9
Madly singing in the mountains 15
No room for grief 16
from Astrophil and Stella 18
Invocation to the Faerie Queene 20
from The marriage of heaven and hell 23
The author to her book 25
On imagination 27
from Preface to Kubla Khan 30
from The letters 32
from The poet 36
from Letters to a young poet 41
Tradition and the individual talent 44
from Play and theory of Duende 53
from Fending off the Duende 56
from Goatfoot, milktongue, twinbird : infantile origins of poetic form 62
from Letter to Norman Holmes Pearson 70
from Coming across : establishing the intent of a poem 73
from Closing the door 74
from Stealing the language 75
from Dancing at the devil's party 79
from Cante Moro 81
Digging 83
from The spiral of memory 86
from The triggering town 91
"When I stand around among poets ..." 96
The poet and the world, Nobel lecture, 1996 98
from Towards the splendid city, Nobel lecture, 1971 104
Diseuse 108
Poetry as a vessel of remembrance 112
from Prologue to the Aetia 124
from Book two, Troilus and Criseyde 128
from Kyorai's conversations with Basho 131
A fit for rhyme against rhyme 135
from A defense of rhyme 138
from Introduction to Paradise lost 140
The apology 143
from An essay on criticism 145
from Preface to lyrical ballads 149
from Biographia Literaria 151
from The philosophy of composition 155
from Preface to poems 159
from Remarks on poetry 162
The poem as a field of action 167
A few don'ts by an Imagiste 172
from Feeling and precision 177
from A general introduction for my work 181
from To Harriet Monroe, editor of poetry : a magazine of verse 185
from The noble rider and the sound of words 190
from Conversations on the craft of poetry with Cleanth Brooks and Robert Penn Warren 196
Housekeeping cages 204
from Table talk, a Paris review interview with Chris Busa 207
from Hamlet and his problems 212
from Writing 214
from The virgin & the dynamo 215
from The poet & the city 217
On footnotes (to John Frederick Nims) 219
from The Negro artist and the racial mountain 222
Personism : a manifesto 225
from Postscript II : notes on certain unwritten poems 229
from The pleasures of formal poetry 232
from Listening and making 243
"I will put chaos into fourteen lines" 250
from How to write like somebody else 252
from Some remarks on rhythm 252
from Projective verse 257
from Ideas on the meaning of form 264
from The prose poem : an alternative to verse 265
from An interview with Daniel Kane 270
from Of formal, free, and fractal verse : singing the body electric 273
from Moving means, meaning moves 277
from More WordWorks 280
from A conversation with Harryette Mullen 283
from The rejection of closure 287
from Of the sonnet and paradoxical beauties : an interview with Joyce Wilson 289
from Control is the mainspring 291
from Owning the masters 294
from How pastoral : a manifesto 297
from Patriarchal poetry 301
from Coherent decentering : towards a new model of the poetic self 304
from Egil's saga 313
Sonnet LV 316
from The four ages of poetry 318
from A defence of poetry 320
The dead man asks for a song 324
from Preface to Leaves of grass 1855 326
from Song of myself, stanza 2 327
from The study of poetry 330
from To whom is the poet responsible? 335
from Letters to a young poet 339
from The obscurity of the poet 343
from The difficulty of difficult poetry 346
from Introduction to the best American poetry, 1990 350
from The rare union : poetry and science 355
from Elegy of midnight 359
from Elegy of the trade winds 360
from "What would we create?" 361
from Notebook of a return to the native land 365
from Poetry is not a luxury 369
from Horses with wings 373
from The future of black poetry 377
Against national poetry month as such 380
from And may he be bilingual 386
from Interview with Marie Jordan 389
from Lights in the windows 394
from Why poetry today? 398
from The Antilles : fragments of epic memory : Nobel Prize lecture, 1992 402
Nobel Prize lecture, 1980 407
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