Writing Poems

Writing Poems

by Robert Wallace


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780823049646
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/28/1994

Table of Contents

1. Starting Out.
Pruning and Weeding.
Clarity, Obscurity, and Ambiguity.
Poems to Consider. Realism, Czeslaw Milosz.
Shalimar Gardens, Carolyn Kizer.
Famous, Naomi Shihab Nye.
Tahoe in August, Robert Hass.
Laws, Stephen Dunn.
A Poem of Attrition, Etheridge Knight.
No, Mark Doty.
The Long Marriage, Maxine Kumin.
El Dia de los Muertos, Rafael Campo.
Dearest, Jean Valentine.


2. Verse.
Balance, Imbalance.
Poems to Consider. Loveliest of Trees, A. E. Housman.
Outings, Debra Allbery.
Scattering Carl, Peter Klappert.
Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802, William Wordsworth.
The Sacred Cows of Los Angeles, Gerald Costanzo.
Poem for a New Cat, Ed Ochester.
Hamlen Brook, Richard Wilbur.
Quake Theory, Sharon Olds.
These Heady Flowers, Elizabeth Kirschner.
Storm Window, Conrad Hilberry.
Does Joanna Exist?, Bonnie Jacobson.
Day's End, Ann Townsend.
Two Figures in Dense Violet Light, Wallace Stevens.
Chinese Print: No Translation, Peggy Shumaker.
The Kiss, Marta Tomes.

3. Measuring the Line (I).
Accentual-Syllabic Meter.
Substitution and Variations.
A Note on Scanning.
Poems to Consider. For My Contemporaries, J. V. Cunningham.
The Snowfall, Donald Justice.
Sonnet 29, William Shakespeare.
Strugnell's Bargain, Wendy Cope.
Balance, Marilyn Nelson.
The Guilt,Gerrald Barrax.
Afraid, Molly Peacock.
Games, James Cummins.
Epitaph, Timothy Steele.
from An Essay on Criticism, Alexander Pope.
The Tropics in New York, Claude McKay.
Learning by Doing, Howard Nemerov.
Blue Jay, Paul Lake.
Barbed Wire, Henry Taylor.
Buffalo, Mark Irwin.

4. Measuring the Line (II).
Nonmetrical Verse: Longer Lines.
Nonmetrical Verse: Lines of Mixed Length.
Nonmetrical Verse: Shorter Lines.
Syllabics and Prose Poems.
Poems to Consider. The Return, Ezra Pound.
The Man. His Bowl. His Raspberries, Claudia Rankine.
Peepers, Margaret Holley.
The Letter, Amy Lowell.
my sweet old etcetera, e. e. cummings.
Holy Water, Christine Dresch.
Promised Land, Lynn Powell.
We Real Cool, Gwendolyn Brooks.
Hazel Tells Laverne, Katharyn Howd Machan.
Savior (Mississippi 1957), Ometeji Adeyemon.
The Wrong Street, Cornelius Eady.
The Day After, Jim Daniels.
Potholes, Linda Hogan.
Swimmers, Jay Meek.
Snake, D. H. Lawrence.

5. The Sound (and Look) of Sense.
Visible Form.
Alliteration and Assonance.
Poems to Consider. Jump Cabling, Linda Pastan.
Song, William Logan.
When Icicles Hang by the Wall, William Shakespeare.
Song (After Shakespeare), Maura Stanton.
Two Songs of a Fool, William Butler Yeats.
Aunt Sue's Stories, Langston Hughes.
Reapers, Jean Toomer.
At Sixteen, Edward Hirsch.
Famous Last Words, Michael Heffernan.
The Art of Vanishing, William Trowbridge.
For the Women of Ancient Greece, Meggan Watterson.
The Fourth of July, Howard Nemerov.
To Autumn, John Keats.


6. Subject Matter.
Subjects and Objects.
Descriptive Implications.
Poems to Consider. An Introduction, Judson Mitcham.
The Dead Monkey, William Olsen.
Shopping in Tuckahoe, Jane Flanders.
Diapers for My Father, Alice Friman.
The Assassination of John Lennon as Depicted by the Madam Tussaud Wax Museum, Niagara Falls, Ontario, 1987, David Wojahn.
Names of Horses, Donald Hall.
Ronda, Gloria Vando.
Traveling Through the Dark, William Stafford.
What She Could Do, Elizabeth Holmes.
The Curator, Miller Williams.

7. Tale, Teller, and Tone.
Point of View.
Poems to Consider. Witch of Coös, Robert Frost.
A Simple Experiment, Muriel Rukeyser.
The Rural Carrier Discovers That Love Is Everywhere, T. R. Hummer.
Medusa, Louise Bogan.
Arkansas Funeral, Brooke Horvath.
Mary Poppins II: That's Ms. Poppins to You, Allison Joseph.
In a Prominent Bar in Secaucus One Day, X. J. Kennedy.
Extra Extra, Sarah Gorham.
American Classic, Louis Simpson.
In the Mirror, Tricia Stuckey.

8. Metaphor.
Figuratively Speaking.
A Name for Everything.
Pattern and Motif.
Metaphoric Implication.
Poems to Consider. Icicles, Mark Irwin.
Oread, H. D.
After Fighting for Hours, Kate Gleason.
Suddenly I Realized I Was Sitting, Elizabeth Kostova.
Sparrows, Christopher Buckley.
Those Men at Redbones, Thylias Moss.
Children of Sacaton, Greg Pape.
Waking from Sleep, Robert Bly.
Release, Joseph Bruchac.
Fireflies, Ted Kooser.
A Red, Red Rose, Robert Burns.
She Dwelt among the Untrodden Ways, William Wordsworth.

9. Beyond the Rational.
Word Magic.
The Sense of Nonsense.
Metaphors of Experience.
Mind Dreams and Body Dreams.
Poems to Consider. The Snow Man, Wallace Stevens.
Nihilist Time, Rodney Jones.
My Dream of the Empty Zoo, Janet Reno.
Goat, Andrew Hudgins.
La Muerte, Parton Saint of Writers, Clarissa Pinkola Estés.
Carry-On, Robert Stewart.
Conception, Susan Whitmore.
X, Carl Phillips.
In the Madness of Love, Gary Soto.
In the Mountains, Toi Derricotte.


10. Finding the Poem.
Imitation, Mentors, and Models.
Sources, Currents.
Getting into Words.
Keeping a Poem Going.
Poems to Consider. Dover Beach, Matthew Arnold.
The Dover Bitch, Anthony Hecht.
Bread and Water, Shirley Kaufman.
Ground Swell, Mark Jarman.
At Saint Placid's, Lucia Perillo.
Still-Hildreth Sanatorium, 1936, David Baker.
In Marin Again, Al Young.
Late Night Drive, Deborah Kroman.
A Nisei Picnic: From an Album, David Mura.
A narrow Fellow in the Grass, Emily Dickinson.

11. Devising and Revising.
Trying Out.
A Set of Drafts.
Poems to Consider. Love Calls Us to the Things of This World, Richard Wilbur.
An Onondaga Trades with a Woman Who Sings with a Mayan Tongue, Gail Tremblay.
ABC, Robert Pinsky.
Interim Report, Elton Glaser.
Woman on Twenty-Second Eating Berries, Stanley Plumly.
Two Poems of Advice, Wayne Dodd.
Tuna, Michael Waters.
Jittery Clouds on Memorial Day, Michael Nelson.
Landscape, Deborah Tall.
Fruit Flies to the Too Ripe Fruit, Michele Glazer.

12. Becoming a Poet.
The Growth of a Poet.
Going Public.
Writing Communities.
Getting Organized.
Poems to Consider. Dancing with Poets, Ellen Bryant Voigt.
Stepping Out of Poetry, Gerald Stern.
Diversion, Rosanna Warren.
Like Miles Said, Alvin Aubert.
Rain, Sidney Wade.
The Bad Snorkler, Ronald Wallace.
A Live Dog Being Better Than a Dead Lion, Brigit Pegeen Kelly.
Childhood, Arthur Smith.
The Next Poem, Dana Gioia.

Appendix I: A Brief Glossary of Forms.

Appendix II: Notes to the Questions and Suggestions.

Appendix III: A Few Suggestions for Further Reading.


Index of Author and Titles.

Index of Terms.

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