Ken's Reviews > The Poet's Companion: A Guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetry

The Poet's Companion by Kim Addonizio
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's review
Jun 19, 2011

bookshelves: finished-in-2011, poetry
Recommended to Ken by: Ruth Bavetta

Kim Addonzio, a poet I admire, and Dorianne Laux, team up for this succinct, 10-to-15 page chaptered "how-to" book on writing poems that is perfect if you want something authoritative yet at the same time fairly brief. The first part covers typical subjects poets breach and how you might go about mining your own ideas for same. They include the family, writing itself, death and grief, the erotic, places, and poems of witness. Section Two treads into territory you'd expect from a book of this sort -- tips on using imagery, figurative language, rhyme, lines, and, my least favorite, meter. Happily, the meter wasn't a reader beater, as has been the case in other poetry books. Really. Keep it simple and straightforward, PLEASE. They did.

Each chapter finishes with exercises on that chapter's point of emphasis. At the end, you get a whole section filled with 20-minute exercises. Use your poetic license -- do them all, some, or none. Be that way.

Told with humor and grace, this 250-page book, while not perfect, is the best I've read so far in its category. And now the most important thing: Stop reading books about writing poetry and start writing poems.

Oh. That.
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Reading Progress

June 19, 2011 – Shelved
July 3, 2011 –
page 102
Started Reading
July 9, 2011 – Shelved as: finished-in-2011
July 9, 2011 – Shelved as: poetry
July 9, 2011 – Finished Reading

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