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Creating Poetry

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Provides exercises and tips for writing poetry dealing with such issues as shaping the poem, developing rhythm, using appropriate language, determining what to write about, and finishing the piece

212 pages, Hardcover

First published May 15, 1991

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About the author

John Drury

149 books6 followers
The Very Reverend John Henry Drury (born 23 May 1936), DD is an Anglican priest and author, Chaplain of All Souls College, Oxford since 2003.

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5 stars
51 (28%)
4 stars
77 (43%)
3 stars
43 (24%)
2 stars
4 (2%)
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2 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 17 of 17 reviews
518 reviews6 followers
March 8, 2023
This books provides a comprehensive look at poetic forms, devices and styles. It also provides a wealth of exercises to get ideas flowing.
Profile Image for Robin Helweg-Larsen.
Author 15 books10 followers
September 30, 2016
This is the kind of complete overview of subject matter that one expects from Writer's Digest Books. It covers every conceivable aspect of writing poetry with both explanation and demands for writing exercises, from how to find inspiration to technical details of meter and form.

It allows 'free verse' into the discussion - something that the best poets from Eliot to the present do not. But this can be forgiven because the thrust of the book is the explanation of the value and methods for writing within the constraints of formal verse.

The book dates from 1991, but is essentially timeless. It is aimed at the novice but is so complete that it is of at least passing interest even to published poets.

The real pity is that students of writing should need the more basic portions. If they learned to recite poetry at home and at elementary school, they would have an understanding of verse that would allow them to be writing it regardless - and then this book would be appropriate for turning them into more accomplished poets.
Profile Image for Gerry LaFemina.
Author 39 books57 followers
July 5, 2012
I've been looking for a first-rate intro to poetry writing textbook for awhile, and this may fit the bill: it has tons of great exercises, lots of clear discussions about various aspects of poetry composition without bogging the book down with samples, requiring the reader to do the work of finding of poems to fit the bill.
Profile Image for Daudi Mlengela.
17 reviews2 followers
June 22, 2017
The book is awesome for those who are really in need of being great poets. I recommend this book for poetry teachers and amateur poets for the book provides all practical tools you can use to write poems. However, the book also gives lots of exercises which at the end of the day evokes your writing aspirations.
Profile Image for Lee Johnson.
Author 2 books
January 16, 2019
VERY DISAPPOINTING The two themes of this entry level book are definitions and prompts for writers block. Even those areas fall short. Ex: To define a "song" he offers only the Elizabethan definition and example from the 1500s. A few songs have been writen since then. For prompts, one of them is to "look out the window." The title is an oxymoron in that neither theme creates poetry.
Profile Image for Jeffrey Sandberg.
Author 2 books1 follower
May 11, 2020
Excellent, very broad and spacious pathway into the world of this aspiring poet with a supply of exercises and explanations of various forms of poetry that would keep an aspiring poet busy for months if not years. It may be more technical than other poetry handbooks(poemcrazy. eg.), and maybe more boring to some, maybe less inspiring, but Chris Drury is a very good teacher for the meat of poetry as a pursuit and the amount of exercises included is staggering and presented in blocks of ideal text.
Profile Image for David.
Author 12 books137 followers
September 1, 2016
I got this book years ago thinking I was going to start writing poetry more seriously, but then I drifted into other forms instead and left this sitting on my shelf forever until I finally just decided to read it to think about poetry more seriously. From that standpoint it works perhaps better, though perhaps not. It's all over the place, which is both good and bad and ultimately I can't be sure which. I suppose the subject is so amorphous that there's no real way to have much more of a coherent approach than "let's think about this a bit," but it kept seemingly like it both worked and didn't. I do read more poetry than probably the average non-poet and there was much I found interesting, but also much I didn't. Perhaps this would be better as part of a regular poetry practice, though perhaps not. I'm just kind of not sure.
Profile Image for Andrea Blythe.
Author 10 books74 followers
May 4, 2011
I picked up this book because someone in an Amazon review called Creating Poetry a "muse disguised as paper". It may not go that far, but it's close. This book is full of writing prompts, each focused on the chapter's subject, from Beginnings to Tone, Form, Research, Sound, Inspiration and more. There is plenty here for a poet to use and learn from, especially if they flip around from section to section, picking out prompts on an area of their writing they want to focus on. (I don't think the best use is to read it from cover to cover as I did).

Occasionally, I thought the prompts for a particular subject were to specific, however, Drury encourages you to use this book as a jumping off point. It's not necessary to follow the prompts to the letter, if the poem goes off in another direction.

This book is definitely worth a flip through to peruse and play with the prompts within.
Profile Image for Quinn.
Author 4 books28 followers
August 10, 2013
A thorough, well-written book on how to dissect, understand and write poetry. Textbook approach. Serious, focused. Chapters include Preparing (developing your poetic sensibility), Language, Sight, Sound, Movement, Shaping, Patterns/ Transitions, Vice, Sources of Inspiration, Things to Write About, Other Arts, Finishing.

Good research book, solid textbook for college-level classes. Well researched and organized. Not for the easy-going or faint of heart.
Profile Image for K Anderson.
26 reviews4 followers
September 7, 2010
A cool one to look at if you are interested in learning about poetry or how to write it..
Profile Image for Lisa Mcelroy.
6 reviews
January 10, 2012
Like taking a very good poetry class. You will understand and want to write poetry after you read most of this book. And if you do write some, it will be better than it was before you read this book.
Profile Image for Daniel Jr..
Author 5 books106 followers
March 14, 2012
Filled with expertise and very helpful writing exercises. I've had a lot of success with it in the classroom, though I only use excerpts.
Profile Image for Scott Whitney.
1,107 reviews14 followers
August 26, 2016
I have been reading this to help me with my Creative Writing class. This has been a really good book for ideas on poetry writing. There are many exercises and a lot of good information to help.
Displaying 1 - 17 of 17 reviews

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