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Poetry for Dummies

3.72  ·  Rating Details  ·  107 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Sometimes it seems like there are as many definitions of poetry as there are poems. Coleridge defined poetry as "the best words in the best order." St. Augustine called it "the Devil's wine." For Shelley, poetry was "the record of the best and happiest moments of the happiest and best minds." But no matter how you define it, poetry has exercised a hold upon the hearts and ...more
ebook, 336 pages
Published March 16th 2011 by For Dummies (first published May 15th 2001)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 367)
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Bob Nichols
The book provides a good introduction to poetry – its various forms, how to read and interpret and write it. While poetry’s content and form are seemingly infinite, ranging from the simple and straightforward to highly obscure language that requires background and dedication to appreciate, the common feature to all poetry is the use of language as an art form, although the authors do not state this so explicitly. Interestingly, the dictionary’s definition is verse -- “a sequence of words arrange ...more
Ariel Chesed Kestenbaum
Apr 15, 2010 Ariel Chesed Kestenbaum rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: aspiring poets
Well written! A very good introduction to poetry- covers MOST of the basics. Various rules, forms, and techniques of reading, writing, and understanding are covered. So is the history of poetry.
However, more writing exercises and more forms of traditional poetry need to be covered. This book doesn't explain enough the starting habits of a writer.
Erik Akre
Jul 18, 2015 Erik Akre rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in poetry, especially with writing in mind
Shelves: poetry
Despite myself, and at the risk of admitting (oh no!) that I'm a real poetry "dummy", I totally loved this book! Great introduction to genres and theory, which is nice, but more than that: useful and inspirational information about starting to write your own poems. For someone already interested in poetry, but who lacks a bit of confidence about diving in, this is perfect. Go for it. It's a great gateway. It will get you started writing.
Sep 05, 2015 Shari rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Despite my distaste for the title, this was an excellent book. It covered a wide range, so is appropriate for both new and advanced poets. I imagine a newer poet might wish to reread it at some point to tease out the morsels at a higher level. It even covers contemporary forms such as slam poetry, a facet often overlooked in the poetic world.
Kirk Bullough
May 28, 2015 Kirk Bullough rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The authors included examples of everything they wrote about. Very well put together.
May 19, 2015 Sincerae rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, writing
This is a must for anyone who is interested in poetry or who loves to write it. It presents in an easy to read and lively prose format information on the history of poetry, the technical side to poetry, and various traditional styles such as the sonnet, ghazal, and haiku. This book also explains how to read poetry aloud and how to interpret it. There is much more information about how to go about getting published in magazines and journals, reading to audiences, how to connect with other poets i ...more
Soul Rhallin
This book has some great content. It is easy to read, and written with enough humor to keep a reader moving through it with a smile.

On the other hand, the table of contents and index are not accurate and ca n lead tofrustration when one is attempting to 'cherry pick' the content for specific material.

Overall, it provides alot of functionally useful information on poetry forms and how to create new material, which is its intended purpose.
Keith Addison
Jan 15, 2013 Keith Addison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Does go into the very basics of writing poetry and covers a good history of poetry as well. It has some good exercises and helps to make sense of some of the more complicated aspects of writing poetry. It is basic though and I would say it is a fairly basic level. There are better books out there in my opinion which will teach you a lot more.
Aug 30, 2013 Alice rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I dislike the title of the book, but I must admit the content is pretty good, especially in the first half of the book. The explanations of the basic concepts in poetry are straightforward and often humorous. Worth reading even if you aren't hugely into poetry.
Thomas Dolan
May 13, 2011 Thomas Dolan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, poetry
Nice, informative, feel like I have a better grasp on everything now.....lie how you're exposed to different tyes. Disliked the emphasis on slam poetry. disgusting vile, uncouth, slam poetry is NOT poetry.
Apr 27, 2011 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very helpful and useful book! Right after I read it I wrote a very good poem, my best so far, and my family loved it!
Christopher Hurtado
Poetry for Dummies by The Poetry Center (2001)
Christopher Elam
Gotta start somewhere... Why not here?
Mar 10, 2009 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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