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Don't Read Poetry: A Book about How to Read Poems

Don't Read Poetry: A Book about How to Read Poems

by Stephanie Burt


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An award-winning poet offers a brilliant introduction to the joys—and challenges—of the genre

In Don't Read Poetry, award-winning poet and literary critic Stephanie Burt offers an accessible introduction to the seemingly daunting task of reading, understanding, and appreciating poetry. Burt dispels preconceptions about poetry and explains how poems speak to one another—and how they can speak to our lives. She shows readers how to find more poems once they have some poems they like, and how to connect the poetry of the past to the poetry of the present. Burt moves seamlessly from Shakespeare and other classics to the contemporary poetry circulated on Tumblr and Twitter. She challenges the assumptions that many of us make about "poetry," whether we think we like it or think we don't, in order to help us cherish—and distinguish among—individual poems.

A masterful guide to a sometimes confounding genre, Don't Read Poetry will instruct and delight ingénues and cognoscenti alike.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780465094509
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 05/21/2019
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 724,119
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Stephanie Burt is a professor of English at Harvard University, coeditor of poetry at the Nation, and the recipient of a 2016 Guggenheim fellowship for poetry. Her work appears regularly in the New York Times Book Review, New Yorker, London Review of Books, and other journals. She lives in Massachusetts.

Table of Contents

Introduction Reading Poems 1

1 Feelings 21

2 Characters 61

3 Forms 101

4 Difficulty 153

5 Wisdom 193

6 Community 231

Acknowledgments 277

Permissions 279

Index 285

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