Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Making Your Own Days: The Pleasures of Reading and Writing Poetry” as Want to Read:
Making Your Own Days: The Pleasures of Reading and Writing Poetry
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Making Your Own Days: The Pleasures of Reading and Writing Poetry

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  274 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
From one of the most esteemed American poets of the twenty-first century comes a celebration of poetry and an invitation for anyone to experience its beauty and wonder.

Full of fresh and exciting insights, Making Your Own Days illuminates the somewhat mysterious subject of poetry for those who read it and for those who write it—as well as for those who would like to read an
Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 8th 1999 by Touchstone
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Making Your Own Days, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Making Your Own Days

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Mar 21, 2016 Jsavett1 rated it liked it
Kenneth Koch is one of my favorite poets. His poems are wild, funny, full of heart and mud. For me, he's the voice of the New York School par excellence. It's his writing which brought us Dean Young.

But this book has almost none of his fire or originality. Partially, the issue is that I was expecting something slightly different---this is a book for BEGINNING poets. I'm not saying that in a haughty way. I still have a ton of things highlighted, and I am ready to learn from anyone or anything. B
Jun 29, 2011 Nina rated it really liked it
The title of Koch’s book comes from 2 lines in Frank O’Hara’s poem, “A True Account of Talking to the Sun at Fire Island”. The book contains three sections; the first is a series of essays on the language of poetry, with essays on subjects such as meter, rhyme, contrast, and personification. Koch believes that poetry is a “separate language”, and he states that the sound of the words is as important as the meaning.

The second part is a series of essays on writing and reading poetry. Koch talks a
Alec Longstreth
Aug 07, 2014 Alec Longstreth rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
This was a very dense, difficult read for me. It helped me understand why some people enjoy modern poetry, and why certain conventions are in use, or were important developments at the time, but I'm also almost certain that it also cemented my dislike of all modern poetry. I'm going to stick to light verse and poetry for kids from here on out!
Jun 24, 2011 Brian rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry

A while back JM wrote about five books that changed her, inspired by a post here.

I revisited Kenneth Koch's Making Your Own Days and would classify this as a book that changed me. It made me realize(?), recognize(?), remember(?) that I love poetry.

I read first two parts of the book as coursework in college. Koch takes Paul Valéry's idea that poetry is a "language within a language" and runs with it. Poetry is a language in which the sound of words is as im
Jul 07, 2016 Mishehu rated it it was amazing
Oh, the pleasures of a good poem...

In truth, I've long been mystified/frustrated/put off by poetry. But over the years, an urge to understand, or at least better appreciate, what all the fuss has been about these last 3000 years has tugged at me. My only formal experiences of poetry study were in high school (in the appreciation mode) and college (1 course, in the academic mode). The former came at too early a point in my aesthetic/intellectual development, and made no greater impression on me t
Sep 09, 2007 Marisa rated it really liked it
Shelves: re-reading
I read this for a course taught by the author that, of course, closely followed the book. That course has had such an influence on me over the years and I recently decided to give the book a re-read. I think this would be a good book for people who have never liked poetry but maybe wish they could. I have enjoyed it for thinking about life in general in more poetic terms and for helping with writing my own. It seeks to lay out for you what it is like to be in the head of a poet writing a poem, w ...more
Dec 14, 2007 Meredith rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: poets
Shelves: writing
i found this book immensely helpful in facilitating my understanding of the rhythm and musicality of free verse poetry. koch's down-to-earth explanations really helped me get an intellectual grasp on what i was already doing intuitively in my own work. joining the two together--intellect and intuition--is, i think, key to both improved writing and a greater enjoyment of the craft. koch's book provides the poet with just that--the means to improve and enjoy his/her writing--and he does so through ...more
Sep 10, 2014 Carrie added it
Reading this for my thesis on teaching poetry to ESL students. More Koch forthcoming. He's kind of hella conservative in some ways “to be poetry it has to be musical” ummmmm … but seems to love Ashbery, so that's cool. Very useful for thinking about teaching poetry, lots of "categories" but I probably wouldn't read this for pleasure...
Sep 08, 2009 Peter rated it really liked it
I like Kenneth Koch. And he makes me want to read more poetry. Also: this book is pure gold for teaching undergraduates about writing poems. Big ideas stated clearly and with a sense of humor. I've never been so excited to read sections of Wordsworth! (By the way, I wish that was my last name. Peter Wordsworth. That's who I want to be).
Mar 15, 2008 P. rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfic
Koch talks a little too much here, kind of obscuring the power of what he's saying by going on about rhyme schemes and Dante, but he has tons of good solid ideas, so I'll just excerpt him and forget about hard feelings.
Apr 16, 2009 Diane rated it it was amazing
I read the library copy but I'll probably buy my own. Kenneth Koch has been a long-time favorite of mine in the poetry teaching department - I love the attention he pays to the music of poetry, as well as his erudition, his intelligence and his straightforward style. A treasure reference book.
Jan 06, 2014 Stu rated it it was amazing
Probably the best (definitely the clearest) introduction to reading poetry that I've read (and I've read a few). I'd recommend it to the uninitiated or inexperienced reader or would-be writer of poetry. Koch's accompanying anthology of poems (with commentary on each one) is a delight.
Amanda Bryan
Aug 16, 2007 Amanda Bryan rated it really liked it
wonderful anthology of poetry is the last half of the book (multiple versions of translated poems)
Jul 27, 2007 Mikael added it
Recommends it for: john ashbery
first time i understood what meter is sort of what is it
Jan 22, 2012 Aarthi rated it it was ok
Shelves: school
I hate this.
Michael Shilling
Oct 15, 2008 Michael Shilling rated it really liked it
Seeing as poets are the priests of the invisible, their houses of worship are too. But Koch pours a bit sweet bag of critical sugar on top of it so we non-poets can at least see the outlines.
Joseph Gascho
Great book for me
Jessica rated it really liked it
Nov 28, 2009
Amy rated it really liked it
Nov 08, 2007
JWG rated it it was amazing
Apr 28, 2010
Joe rated it really liked it
Sep 14, 2008
Garreth Heidt
Garreth Heidt rated it really liked it
Aug 13, 2009
Diane Hamilton
Diane Hamilton rated it really liked it
Jun 07, 2014
Jack Swanzy
Jack Swanzy rated it it was ok
Apr 14, 2016
Jacob rated it really liked it
Aug 14, 2007
Lorraineeh rated it it was amazing
Mar 02, 2013
Pauline rated it really liked it
Apr 04, 2013
Kat K.
Kat K. rated it it was amazing
Feb 21, 2016
Aaron rated it it was ok
Jul 30, 2007
Aage rated it really liked it
Oct 01, 2012
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Koch's Poetry 1 7 Dec 02, 2009 09:02AM  
  • Can Poetry Matter?: Essays on Poetry and American Culture
  • The Life of Poetry
  • The Practice of Poetry: Writing Exercises From Poets Who Teach
  • Writing Poems
  • Real Sofistikashun: Essays on Poetry and Craft
  • The Triggering Town: Lectures and Essays on Poetry and Writing
  • In the Palm of Your Hand: A Poet's Portable Workshop
  • Ordinary Genius: A Guide for the Poet Within
  • Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words
  • A Poetry Handbook
  • One Art
  • Best Words, Best Order: Essays on Poetry
  • The Discovery of Poetry: A Field Guide to Reading and Writing Poems
  • How to Read a Poem
  • Cooling Time: An American Poetry Vigil
  • Close Calls With Nonsense: Reading New Poetry
  • Cocktails
  • The Necessary Angel: Essays on Reality and the Imagination
Kenneth Koch is most often recognized as one of the four most prominent poets of the 1950s-1960s poetic movement "the New York School of Poetry" along with Frank O'Hara, John Ashbery and James Schuyler. The New York School adopted the avant-garde movement in a style often called the "new" avant-garde, drawing on Abstract Expressionism, French surrealism and stream-of-consciousness writing in the a ...more
More about Kenneth Koch...

Share This Book