What the Poem Wants: Prose on Poetry

Overview

This book contains fifteen essays and talks by a poet and librettist who has taught for over forty years (Iowa, Columbia, Bennington, Minnesota). They explore a range of topics, from individual poets such as D.H. Lawrence, John Berryman and James Wright to themes such as "Failure," "Listening," "Poetry and Walking," and "Words for Music." They represent an artist's attempt to step outside his main genre and become conscious not only of the things it occurred to him, mostly intuitively, to write about, but also ...

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Overview

This book contains fifteen essays and talks by a poet and librettist who has taught for over forty years (Iowa, Columbia, Bennington, Minnesota). They explore a range of topics, from individual poets such as D.H. Lawrence, John Berryman and James Wright to themes such as "Failure," "Listening," "Poetry and Walking," and "Words for Music." They represent an artist's attempt to step outside his main genre and become conscious not only of the things it occurred to him, mostly intuitively, to write about, but also themes, patterns and processes in other writers and writings he admires. The style is colloquial and the author uses numerous quotations, from several disciplines, to illustrate his thought and to help the reader see into the ways a writer works (and plays).

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What People Are Saying

Jim Moore
"What the Poem Wants is a record of one man's lifelong love affair with poetry. If poetry happens to be a beloved in your life, too, you must read this book! What the Poem Wants is a treasure. I wish all the poets I know—especially poets just starting out—could read it. It is a true evocation of the practice and life of poetry. Its generosity gives heart; its wisdom show us how to give that heart a home in the poems we hope to write and the poems we love to read."
Jim Moore
"What the Poem Wants is a record of one man's lifelong love affair with poetry. If poetry happens to be a beloved in your life, too, you must read this book! What the Poem Wants is a treasure. I wish all the poets I know--especially poets just starting out--could read it. It is a true evocation of the practice and life of poetry. Its generosity gives heart; its wisdom show us how to give that heart a home in the poems we hope to write and the poems we love to read."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780887485121
  • Publisher: Carnegie-Mellon University Press
  • Publication date: 3/27/2009
  • Series: Carnegie Mellon Poets in Prose Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 168
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

MICHAEL DENNIS BROWNE teaches at the University of Minnesota, where he is Morse-Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor of English and former director of the program in creative writing. Two of his collections published by Carnegie Mellon have won the Minnesota Book Award for poetry. Other publications include Give Her the River, a picture book with paintings by Wendell Minor (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2004) and Panthers (Indulgence Press, 2007). His most recent collaboration with composer Stephen Paulus, To Be Certain of the Dawn, a post-Holocaust oratorio, recorded by the Minnesota Orchestra under Osmo Vanska, was released as a CD in 2009 (BIS Records).

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Table of Contents

Henry Fermenting: Debts to the Dream Songs
Coda: John Berryman
Gods Beyond My God
My James Wright
Coda: His Secret Face
Poetry and Hope
Listening
Failure
Poetry and Walking
Next Year You Can See for Yourself
The Poem Behind the Poem
The Duty of the Moment
Words for Music
Something Stood Still in My Soul
What the Poem Wants

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