Start your review of Poetic Meter and Poetic Form Write a review Apr 26, shriram rated it really liked it poetry is something i know very little about and this was more or less a perfect introduction. I would equate him with a professor who introduces his students to a new discipline and rather than bore them with academese, he sparks their interest with his enthusiasm and intelligence. Jan 06, Tiffany added it Revisiting the classic! Worth the respect due our elders, who will always have worked harder than we and proceeded more responsibly in structuring knowledge. That said, I did laugh at a number of lines--PF is quite witty, yes, but I laughed as much at some of the sheer pluck of schematic meaning assignation and then of concomitant evaluative gouging: "What he produces is very nice, but his stanza surely lacks the dense organism that attaches to a permanent poem.
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Fussell works systematically through the subject, liberally sprinkling the text with examples, most of which clearly support his points. The eighteenth century refines a few forms like the iambic pentameter couplet. The nineteenth century experiments again with many forms, rediscovers the versatility of the ballad, and more. In America, Whitman opens the dramatic monologue form to long lines with biblical echoes. Ammons and Pound.
Fussell looks at the variations the sonnet has taken in English, the way poets have exploited the relationships of its parts to structure their poems, and the historical implications of these matters. Fussell looks into what separates good from great in poetry, again, froma mechanical standpoint. His prose is elegant, erudite and brimming with subtle humor. It was waiting for me to "mature" into it. I must say, it was one of the best reads of all time for me, because it opened up the English tradition--from Old English to present, giving a historic overview.
It teaches scansion, which is necessary to developing a talent in hearing the quirks particular to meter, the deviations that make meter interesting. My edition lacks the chapter on free verse, which Fussell included in a later version. I wish kids in school were taught meter in school, because they are missing out on the fabulous English accentual-syllabic tradition.
Kids are taught that scribbling a few lines of words and arranging them in an interesting way makes poetry. It does not. BTW, I would read the last 2 chapters first. It speaks more broadly of art, which benefited my outlook on creative endeavors far beyond poetry. A good explanation of prosody without getting too lofty and decent source for examples.
I used the book to help my students scan poems better.
Poetic Meter and Poetic Form
Dimensions: 8. It is not. It is intended to help aspiring readers deepen their sensitivity to the rhythmical and formal properties of poetry and thus heighten their pleasure and illumination as an appropriately skilled audience of an exacting art. About the Author Paul Fussell, critic, essayist, and cultural commentator, has recently won the H. Mencken Award of the Free Press Association.