"Probably my favorite collection of poetry because it illustrates how form shapes content or how content seeks out certain forms. It’s organized by poetic form, if that wasn’t clear, and then gives several examples through history (yes, I know, capital W Western, Anglo-, but still)."— From Philipp
"Concise, learned, revisionary... should enrich the passionate conversation about poetic forms for years to come."— Edward Hirsch, author of How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry
Two of our foremost poets provide here a lucid, straightforward primer that "looks squarely at some of the headaches and mysteries of poetic form": a book for readers who have always felt that an understanding of form (sonnet, ballad, villanelle, sestina, among others) would enhance their appreciation of poetry. Tracing "the exuberant history of forms," they devote one chapter to each form, offering explanation, close reading, and a rich selection of examplars that amply demonstrate the power and possibility of that form.
About the Author
Eavan Boland (1944—2020) was the author of more than a dozen volumes of poetry, including Outside History and several volumes of nonfiction, and was coeditor of the anthology The Making of Poem. Born in Dublin, Ireland, she was one of the foremost female voices in Irish literature. She received a Lannan Foundation Award and an American Ireland Fund Literary Award, among other honors. She taught at Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, Bowdoin College, and Stanford University, where she was the director of the creative writing program.
Mark Strand (1934—2014) won the Pulitzer Prize for Blizzard of One and was Poet Laureate of the United States.
A generous and exquisitely selective anthology of poetry forms that may make you decide to give up E-mail and start writing sestinas and villanelles.
— Francine Prose - Elle
A marvelous new anthology... intended for readers daunted by terminology and complex poetic forms.
— Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
This is the book writers and readers, teachers and students, have been dreaming of—canny, generous, and practical, Boland and Strand are ideal guides through the golden labyrinth of poetry at its most ingenious and commanding. A marvelous collection!
— J.D. McClatchy
Much more poetry than commentary appears, making the book both a splendid classroom text and, since the selections are top-drawer poems by first-rate poets, a book any poetry lover or would-be poetry lover may learn from and love.