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The Body of Poetry: Essays on Women, Form, and the Poetic Self
The Body of Poetry collects essays, reviews, and memoir by Annie Finch, one of the brightest poet-critics of her generation. Finch's germinal work on the art of verse has earned her the admiration of a wide range of poets, from new formalists to hip-hop writers. And her ongoing commitment to women's poetry has brought Finch a substantial following as a "postmodern poetess" ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published January 31st 2005 by University of Michigan Press
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I loved this book! I read an excerpt of her essay "How to Create a Poetic Tradition" online and was hooked. This book contains that essay and many more. "The Body of Poetry" has a premise that will fascinate both genders: that "the poem's body has come to be despised by literary culture." Her short essay (or rather, almost a checklist) "Omniformalism: A Manifesto," is something every poet should read (and probably post above his/her desk). In it, she suggests that every poem should have physical ...more
An enormously useful and wise collection of practical criticism that, over the course of the book, suggests a persuasive and well-considered thesis about how the metrical code, sometimes "ghost", inhabits and drives a poem. Her primary examples and explications are from her own and other women's poetry (including a really wonderful essay on Maxine Kumin's "Looking for Luck"), hence the title, but her aesthetic generally sets the definition of most free verse poetry in relief in clarifying ways.
This is a fabulous book that explores neglected avenues our poetic history as well as the subject of prosody, which I don't think I really understood until I read this book. Finch approaches her subjects with genuine intellectual curiosity and an open mind--two characteristics often absent in contemporary criticism.
Named “one of the central figures in contemporary American poetry” by the Dictionary of Literary Biography, Annie Finch is the author or editor of more than twenty books. Her work has been translated into numerous languages and received such honors as the Robert Fitzgerald Award and the Sarasvati Award for Poetry. Best known for her poetry, Finch also writes literary and cultural essays, textbooks ...more
“Criticism is like politics: if you don't make your own you are by default accepting the status quo and are finally yourself responsible for whatever the status quo does to you.”
“After all, what is lyric but the seamless fusion of formal control and passionate conviction, in the service of the expression of personal experience?”More quotes…