Perrine's Sound and Sense: An Introduction to Poetry / Edition 12

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This classic textbook continues to lead the market and set the standard for introduction to poetry courses. We are fortunate to hold as a new author Greg Johnson, accomplished fiction and novel writer and award-winning creative writing instructor.


  • The most-often assigned Introduction to Poetry text ever published.
  • This edition contains more information on writing. All chapters have been supplied with "Suggestions for Writing."
  • Chapters 15 (bad and good poetry) and 16 (great poetry) have been renamed "Evaluating Poetry."
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Obviously, I love this text--have loved it now for 30 years. . . . I would not take very much out of what is here--it teaches so very well."

"These are all fine poems, to be sure."

"[Chapter 2] is one of my favorite chapters in the book. I remember it helping me over fifteen years ago when I first started teaching poetry at Moorhead State University, and I still find it immensely helpful for my students. I wouldn't change much here."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781413030815
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning
  • Publication date: 5/28/2007
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 12
  • Pages: 480

Meet the Author

Thomas R. Arp received a B.A. in English from the University of Michigan (1954) and a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship to Stanford University. In 1955-1956, he produced educational television for the University of Michigan. He received an M.A. from Stanford University in 1960 and a Ph.D. from Stanford in 1962. He has taught at Bowdoin College, Princeton University, University of California at Berkeley, Hull University (England), and Southern Methodist University. Macmillan published his volume, THE FORM OF POETRY, in 1966, and he received a Fulbright lectureship at University of Bucharest (Romania) in 1969-1970. Arp joined Laurence Perrine in preparing revised editions of SOUND AND SENSE, STORY AND STRUCTURE, and LITERATURE: STRUCTURE, SOUND, AND SENSE beginning in 1982. He became sole author of the books in 1997, and was joined by Greg Johnson in 2002.

Greg Johnson received an M.A. in English from Southern Methodist University and a Ph.D. in English from Emory University. Dr. Johnson is the author of books of fiction, poetry, criticism, and biography, including the recent story collections, LAST ENCOUNTER WITH THE ENEMY (Johns Hopkins, 2004) and WOMEN I'VE KNOWN: NEW AND SELECTED STORIES (Ontario Review, 2007), the novel STICKY KISSES (Alyson Books, 2001), and two books on Joyce Carol Oates: INVISIBLE WRITER: A BIOGRAPHY OF JOYCE CAROL OATES (Plume, 1999), and JOYCE CAROL OATES: CONVERSATIONS 1970-2006 (Ontario Review, 2006). He joined the author team of PERRINE'S LITERATURE in 2002.

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Table of Contents

The Elements of Poetry     1
What Is Poetry?     3
The Eagle     5
Winter     6
Dulce et Decorum Est     7
Reviewing Chapter One     10
Understanding and Evaluating Poetry     11
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?     12
The Whipping     12
The last Night that She lived     13
Ballad of Birmingham     14
Kitchenette Building     16
The Red Wheelbarrow     17
Constantly risking absurdity     17
Suicide's Note     18
Terence, this is stupid stuff     19
Ars Poetica     21
Suggestions for Writing     22
Reading the Poem     24
The Man He Killed     26
A Study of Reading Habits     27
Is my team plowing     30
Reviewing Chapter Two     33
Break of Day     33
There's been a Death, in the Opposite House     34
When in Rome     35
Animals Are Passing from Our Lives     36
Question     37
Mirror     38
The Clod and the Pebble     38
Ethics     39
Storm Warnings     40
Suggestions for Writing     41
Denotation and Connotation     42
There is no Frigate like a Book     42
When my love swears that she is made of truth     44
Pathedy of Manners     45
Exercises     47
Reviewing Chapter Three     48
Naming of Parts     48
Cross     49
The world is too much with us     50
Desert Places     51
Let No Charitable Hope     52
A Hymn to God the Father     52
One Art     53
35/10     54
Suggestions for Writing     55
Imagery     56
Meeting at Night     57
Parting at Morning     58
Exercises     59
Reviewing Chapter Four     59
Spring     59
The Widow's Lament in Springtime     60
The Man with Night Sweats     61
I felt a Funeral, in my Brain     62
Living in Sin     63
The Forge     64
After Apple-Picking     64
Those Winter Sundays     66
An August Night     67
The Snow Man      67
To Autumn     68
Suggestions for Writing     69
Figurative Language I: Simile, Metaphor, Personification, Apostrophe, Metonymy     70
Harlem     71
Bereft     72
It sifts from Leaden Sieves     73
The Author to Her Book     74
The Telephone     76
Bright Star     77
Exercise     80
Reviewing Chapter Five     81
Mind     81
I taste a liquor never brewed     82
Metaphors     83
Toads     83
Ghost of a Chance     84
A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning     85
To His Coy Mistress     87
Introduction to Poetry     88
Suggestions for Writing     89
Figurative Language 2: Symbol, Allegory     90
The Road Not Taken     90
A Noiseless Patient Spider     92
The Sick Rose     93
Digging     95
To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time     98
Peace     99
Exercises     101
Reviewing Chapter Six     101
The Writer     102
Fire and Ice      103
Up-Hill     104
Harlem Hopscotch     104
I Saw in Louisiana a Live-Oak Growing     105
Because I could not stop for Death     106
Hymn to God My God, in My Sickness     107
Weighing the Dog     109
Ulysses     109
Suggestions for Writing     112
Figurative Language 3: Paradox, Overstatement, Understatement, Irony     113
Much Madness is divinest Sense     114
The Sun Rising     115
Incident     116
Barbie Doll     118
The Chimney Sweeper     120
Ozymandias     121
Exercise     122
Reviewing Chapter Seven     123
Lady Luncheon Club     123
Batter my heart, three-personed God     124
Sorting Laundry     125
The History Teacher     127
Mid-Term Break     128
A Considerable Speck     129
The Unknown Citizen     130
In the inner city     131
My Last Duchess     132
Suggestions for Writing     134
Allusion     135
"Out, Out-"     136
From Macbeth ("She should have died hereafter")      137
Reviewing Chapter Eight     138
In Just-     139
Yet Do I Marvel     140
On His Blindness     140
Miniver Cheevy     141
My Son the Man     142
Siren Song     143
Journey of the Magi     144
Leda and the Swan     146
Suggestions for Writing     146
Meaning and Idea     148
Little Jack Horner     148
Loveliest of Trees     149
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening     150
Reviewing Chapter Nine     152
The Rhodora: On Being Asked, Whence Is the Flower?     152
Design     153
I never saw a Moor     154
"Faith" is a fine invention     154
On the Sonnet     155
Sonnet     155
The Lamb     156
The Tiger     157
The Indifferent     158
Love's Deity     159
My Number     160
I had heard it's a fight     161
Suggestions for Writing     161
Tone     163
For a Lamb     165
Apparently with no surprise     165
Since there's no help      167
Picnic, Lightning     168
Reviewing Chapter Ten     169
My mistress' eyes     169
Crossing the Bar     170
The Oxen     171
One dignity delays for all     172
'Twas warm-at first-like Us     173
The Apparition     173
The Flea     174
Dover Beach     176
Church Going     177
Suggestions for Writing     180
Musical Devices     181
The Turtle     182
That night when joy began     184
The Waking     185
God's Grandeur     187
Exercise     188
Reviewing Chapter Eleven     189
Blow, blow, thou winter wind     189
We Real Cool     190
Woman Work     191
Rite of Passage     192
As imperceptibly as Grief     193
Music Lessons     194
Traveling through the dark     194
Thistles     195
Nothing Gold Can Stay     196
Suggestions for Writing     197
Rhythm and Meter     198
Virtue     203
Exercises      212
Reviewing Chapter Twelve     213
"Introduction" to Songs of Innocence     213
Had I the Choice     214
The Aim Was Song     215
Stanzas     216
Old Ladies' Home     216
Africa     217
To a Daughter Leaving Home     218
A Blessing     219
Porphyria's Lover     220
Break, break, break     222
Suggestions for Writing     223
Sound and Meaning     224
Pease Porridge Hot     224
Eight O'Clock     226
Sound and Sense     227
I heard a Fly buzz-when I died     231
Exercise     233
Reviewing Chapter Thirteen     235
Anthem for Doomed Youth     235
Landcrab     236
Tree at My Window     237
Aunt Jennifer's Tigers     238
At the round earth's imagined corners     238
Blackberry Eating     239
The Health-Food Diner     240
The Dance     241
Suggestions for Writing     241
Pattern     243
The Pulley     244
On First Looking into Chapman's Homer      246
That time of year     247
Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night     249
Exercise     250
Reviewing Chapter Fourteen     251
From Romeo and Juliet     251
Death, be not proud     252
The Sheaves     253
The White City     253
America     254
We Wear the Mask     255
Sonnenizio on a Line from Drayton     255
Acquainted with the Night     256
In Memory of the Unknown Poet, Robert Boardman Vaughn     257
Villanelle for an Anniversary     258
The House on the Hill     259
These are the days when Birds come back     260
Delight in Disorder     261
Still to be Neat     262
Suggestions for Writing     262
Evaluating Poetry I: Sentimental, Rhetorical, Didactic Verse     263
Reviewing Chapter Fifteen     266
God's Will for You and Me     266
Pied Beauty     266
A Poison Tree     267
The Most Vital Thing in Life     267
Lower New York: At Dawn     268
Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802     269
Pitcher     269
The Old-Fashioned Pitcher     270
Piano     270
The Days Gone By     271
The Engine     271
I like to see it lap the Miles     272
When I have fears that I may cease to be     272
O Solitude!     273
Suggestions for Writing     273
Evaluating Poetry 2: Poetic Excellence     275
The Canonization     276
Ode on a Grecian Urn     278
There's a certain Slant of light     280
Home Burial     281
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock     285
Sunday Morning     290
The Weary Blues     294
The Fish     296
Diving into the Wreck     298
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