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The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics

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The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics is a comprehensive reference work dealing with all aspects of its subject: history, types, movements, prosody, and critical terminology. Prepared by recognized authorities, its articles treat their topics in sufficient depth and with enough lucidity to satisfy the scholar and the general reader alike. Entries vary in length from relatively brief notices to substantial articles of about 20,000 words.

The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics , published in 1965, established itself as a standard work in the field. Among the 215 contributors were Northrop Frye writing on allegory, Murray Krieger on belief in poetry, Philip Wheelwright on myth, John Hollander on music, and William Carlos Williams on free verse. In 1974, the Enlarged Edition increased the entries with dozens of new subjects, including rock lyric, computer poetry, and black poetry, to name just a few.

The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics accounts for the extraordinary change and explosion of knowledge within literary and cultural studies since the 1970s. This edition, completely revised, preserves what was most valuable from previous editions, while subjecting each existing entry to revision. Over 90 percent of the entries have been extensively revised and most major ones entirely rewritten. Completely new entries number 162, including those by new contributors Camille Paglia, Barbara Herrnstein Smith, Elaine Showalter, Houston Baker, Andrew Ross, and many more. New entries include those on cultural criticism, discourse, feminist poetics, and Chicano poetry.

Improvements cover several areas: All the recent developments in theory that bear on poetry are included; bibliographies of secondary sources are extended; cross-references among entries and through blind entries have been expanded for greater ease of use; and coverage of emergent and non-Western poetries is dramatically increased. Indeed, a hallmark of the encyclopedia is its world-wide orientation on the poetry of national and cultural groups.

1434 pages, Paperback

First published March 1, 1993

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Alex Preminger

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Displaying 1 - 15 of 15 reviews
Profile Image for Anselm.
131 reviews21 followers
March 14, 2009
A 21st century update would be useful, but this is a bad ass read for the specialist and spoonist alike, even if some of the entries are wildly uptight (though that also makes them rather interesting from the perspective of one who understand that free verse (Prince) defeated formalism (Michael Jackson) rather handily.....the analogy fails once Prince joins the Jehovah's Witness flock, but maybe that's the fate of the free versers ultimately as well.
Profile Image for Tana.
19 reviews1 follower
October 10, 2015
A "must have" for scholars and aspiring writers of poetry; those who wish to explore more fully the myriad forms and theories of poetry, and to track its metamorphoses through several thousand years of human history. This book offers specific elements of the poetic tradition in alphabetic order. This is a great reference book.
Profile Image for Steve.
4 reviews1 follower
May 7, 2022
A doorstopper with tiny print and frequently abbreviations just to fit it all in, but basically everything you ever wanted to know about poetry and literature written by experts in their areas. I can't say I have read all of it, who has? It's definitely got everything there if you want to look something up. It's all about concepts though, no entries on individual poets, though it does have fascinating entries on national literatures. Amaze your friends by telling them the whole history of irony, beginning with Socratic and cosmic irony. And of course the entries go deep into other related fields. Decadence is a good entry, check it out.
Profile Image for Melody Schwarting.
1,543 reviews81 followers
February 17, 2019
This resource is invaluable. It's helpful in reading, writing, and criticizing poetry. I use it more frequently than most other reference books of any kind. Even for those who do not engage with poetry creatively, it's a fantastic critical resource for understanding poets/poetry in context--e. g., looking at writers in the context of their movements and referencing uses of their forms/styles/methods.
Profile Image for Quinns Pheh.
418 reviews12 followers
June 4, 2021
Will definitely reread this gem of references. Read through some important information that was bookmarked and especially those highlighted.
Profile Image for globulon.
175 reviews21 followers
April 23, 2013
This was given to me as a gift at a time when I was very into poetry, both reading and writing. At that time I would read this a lot. Flipping through it and reading random headings that caught my eye or looking up specific terms to see what they had to say. All in all it was a quite positive experience and I learned a lot. I guess my only criticism would be that at times it seemed to verge into 'theory' a bit too much for me, (but then I don't have much tolerance for what I understand about it, which admittedly isn't much).

I actually lost this at a time when I had to leave a substantial library behind in my perambulations. I picked up a used copy of the same edition later. I don't consult it like I used to, but then I haven't sworn off it or anything either.
Profile Image for Rich.
Author 14 books8 followers
August 22, 2008
If you're interested in writing poetry, you simply must own this book. Sure, it's very expensive, but it's one of the most useful resources you'll have on your bookshelf.
Profile Image for Mandy.
301 reviews9 followers
November 24, 2010
A very comprehensive list of terms. Definitions are historical as well as literary, which makes it an extremely useful text. Definitely worth the money I spent!
Profile Image for Sam.
12 reviews47 followers
May 2, 2012

This is the tome of all answers. I love teaching my students to read the entries, training for reading the OED.
Displaying 1 - 15 of 15 reviews

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