The Discovery of Poetry: A Field Guide to Reading and Writing Poems

The Discovery of Poetry A Field Guide to Reading and Writing Poems The bestselling author of Under the Tuscan Sun brings poetry out of the classroom and into the homes of everyday readers Before she fell in love with Tuscany Frances Mayes fell in love with verse Aft

  • Title: The Discovery of Poetry: A Field Guide to Reading and Writing Poems
  • Author: Frances Mayes
  • ISBN: 9780156007627
  • Page: 172
  • Format: Paperback
  • The bestselling author of Under the Tuscan Sun brings poetry out of the classroom and into the homes of everyday readers.Before she fell in love with Tuscany, Frances Mayes fell in love with verse After publishing five books of poetry and teaching creative writing for than twenty five years, Mayes is no stranger to the subject In The Discovery of Poetry, an accessibThe bestselling author of Under the Tuscan Sun brings poetry out of the classroom and into the homes of everyday readers.Before she fell in love with Tuscany, Frances Mayes fell in love with verse After publishing five books of poetry and teaching creative writing for than twenty five years, Mayes is no stranger to the subject In The Discovery of Poetry, an accessible field guide to reading and writing poetry, she shares her passion with readers Beginning with basic terminology and techniques, from texture and sound to rhyme and repetition, Mayes shows how focusing on one aspect of a poem can help you to better understand, appreciate, and enjoy the reading and writing experience In addition to many creative and helpful composition ideas, following each lyrical and lively discussion is a thoughtful selection of poems With its wonderful anthology from Shakespeare to Jamaica Kinkaid, The Discovery of Poetry is an insightful, invaluable guide to what Mayes calls the natural pleasures of language a happiness we were born to have.

    One thought on “The Discovery of Poetry: A Field Guide to Reading and Writing Poems”

    1. An overview and introduction by a poet and teacher who went on to fame and fortune when she wrote a memoir about her life in Tuscany. I studied the first edition of this book, originally published in the 1980’s, years before anyone had heard of Frances Mayes. I maintain that her writing success is built on her in-depth knowledge of the workings of poetry. The pattern of writing/studying poetry before becoming famous in another genre is fairly common (C.S. Lewis, Shakespeare, Vladimir Nabokov a [...]

    2. This was the textbook for the workshop I'm taking at the New School. It was hard to keep a straight face while reading a "field guide to poetry" by the lady who wrote Under the Tuscan Sun. But as loopy as the text got, the example poems were a decent mix of old and new that was pleasant to revisit. A decent shelf reference, but not that much fun to read cover-to-cover.

    3. Yes, it's sometimes difficult, she's erudite, and forces you to think hard, but oh, what fun when a poem connects and sings in your head, when you get goosebumps from a gorgeous phrase, when you laugh out loud at a cleverness. Everyone should have a copy.

    4. Frances Mayes teaches writing (or at least did some time ago) at San Francisco State University. This is a book on writing poetry that is enjoyable for anyone who enjoys poetry, whether they write it or not.

    5. This was the textbook in my college poetry writing courselovely examples of poems and interesting exercises to get the creative juices flowing.

    6. If I only owned one book about poetry, this would be it. Frances Mayes taught at the university level for almost 30 years. She knows what she's talking about.

    7. I read a page or two of this a day off and on for a couple years and I can tell that I get a lot more out of poetry now then I did when I started. I can't imagine what it would be like to have to read this for a course, a prescribed number of pages a week, and to actually do all the suggested exercises and participate in discussions about the poems; I suspect that would be very intense. Somewhere in the middle, though, I got to thinking that I would like to do that some day, take an actual cours [...]

    8. The range of poems in this book - particularly the contemporary poems is SO solid. I love Marin Headlands by Jane Miller. I even love the John Ashberry poem in this book and I truly hate John Ashberry's poems. The choices are just great. Here's a W.S. Merwin poem I really like:For the Anniversay of My DeathEvery year without knowing it I have passed the dayWhen the last fires will wave to meAnd the silence will set outTireless travellerLike the beam of a lightless starThen I will no longer Find [...]

    9. This would be a stellar book for an intro to poetry class, for the novice who doesn't know much about poetry but wants to learn. There are definitely parts of this book that shine: her discussion of language and the use of words to texturize, or surprise, her advice about interpretation, and the exercises that are scattered throughout the book and gathered together at the end for writing poetry. I found much of the poetry included to be old and overused. As an English major and someone who just [...]

    10. The best advice I can think of for anyone who wants to be intellectually enthusiastic and enjoy surpries in life is: make an attempt to visit all used book sales you can, and then someday read the books that you purchase there. This is one of those "Oh, I'll get to it one day" buys that does much to stabilize my faith in the 'read whatever interests you' approach to education. This is a sprawling but focused text which does a great job of teaching what is teachable about poetry (it provides the [...]

    11. Frances Mayes was one of my undergraduate professors, and her The Discovery of Poetry is a classic. Covering everything from 'The Origin of a Poem,' to how to interpret and write about poetry, Mayes includes a Poet’s Handbook with suggestions for writing, revising, and publishing. Her friendly tone conveys passion for her subject, as in this line comparing metaphor to Roman augury, 'the root that says unlike things have mysterious, informing links which we can discover.' Educational passages a [...]

    12. This was the text used in my first year poetry course at Vancouver Island University. It's a wonderfully structured book with great examples, a wide-breadth of subject matter and voices, engaging instructive style, and some very moving poems selected as well. I'd highly recommend it for anyone interested in the craft of poetry. I reread some of the poems inside on a daily basis ('Dulce et decorum est', 'From An Atlas of the Difficult World', 'Jubilate Agno', and others) and felt overcome by emot [...]

    13. The perfect introduction to all forms of poetry and many, many wonderful poems from famous poets past and present. Frances lists lots of excellent poetry exercises at the end too. I can't wait to read Under the Tuscan Sun next.

    14. I'm reading this as part of a poetry reading group, and it has been a very helpful guide.cially for someone like me who hasn't put any effort into reading poetry since college.

    15. Reading and using as a resource this month. Lots of writing exercises for the dreaded "writer's block" which is also known as procrastination :-).

    16. Read for a poetry class. Gives some great advice for those interested in writing poetry and she also includes a wonderful selection of poetry examples that runs the gamut.

    17. This is precisely the sort of book I'd been looking for to help me develop more of an appreciation for poetry. Almost everything I'd been hoping to know more about was here, including how, quite literally, to read a poem. ("[L]et the punctuation mark at the end of the line guide you If there is no punctuation mark where the line breaks, regard that break as a very slight pause -- a half-comma -- that emphasizes the last word on the line. [D]on't interrupt your reading of the sentence just becaus [...]

    18. I heard a published novelist once say that she was required to take a poetry class in college and hated it because poetry does not pertain to novels. That's sad. I've also read too many novels lately where a writer tried to create imagery and it was trite, wordy and off-putting. I think all writers should love words; the sounds, rhythms and pictures of words are what takes us to that other world and helps us feel. There is nothing wrong with studying the greats and using regular exercises to per [...]

    19. A fine way to spend some time thinking about poetry with the author. Though I would have preferred more poems with commentary and fewer poems simply printed out at the ends of chapters as additional examples. I'm awfully picky about poetry, and so when faced with a large set of poems I pretty quickly just start cutting out the ones I don't enjoy and not considering them in terms of the actual theme of the chapter. And some were just excessive -- like all 16 pages of The Eve of St. Agnes. Sheesh. [...]

    20. A generous, leisurely look-largely, but not exclusively, at English language poetry from a vast historical spectrum-is presented here in such a way that the 'how' of it all, i.e poetry, leaps off each page. Someone once said that poetry is something that is thrown and which is either caught or not. That's how this book worked for me. Some of it I caught, some I didn't. But the catching-of the metrical, line-break,metaphoric and other magical aspects of lots of moving poems-made this a gratifying [...]

    21. When I am looking for inspiration, this is one of my go to books. This has a permanent place at my bedside. The book includes a lot of other author's poetry to show, teach and inspire me with my own writing. Mayes an accomplished writer and poet herself, leads you down an inspired path to finding your own prose.

    22. I recently picked up this college textbook again and have thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Ah the change of perspective on a book when it ceases to be "required" reading and enters the realm of pleasure reading. It made my fingers itch to get writing again, and made my mind whirl with ideas for poems, contributing several lines to my "snipets" journal.

    23. Out of all the books on appreciating poetry that I have read, this is the only one that actually inspires me to actively read, and write. I think that some have criticized this book for not being superficial, and it probably is. But I am not a poet or an academic, just someone who loves to enrich my world with good writing, and this book is perfect for that purpose.

    24. as the title suggests, a field guide. good introduction to the mechanics of poetry, and also excellent for gaining immediate exposure to a variety of writers and styles. mayes writes with an obvious passion for the craft, and her insights are valuable.

    25. A good book for beginning to experienced poetry writers. The exercises were some of the best I've seen in poetry-writing-books. Her section on voice is excellent. Lots of poems offered as examples, but I wish she had used far more contemporary poems.

    26. The best poetry anthology I've come across so far. Selection of poetry is top-notch, plus the analyses are insightful, beautifully written, and a joy to read. From the author of Under the Tuscan Sun.

    27. I kept it as a resource after I used in in my beginning poetry class. Often when I have questions about forms or need an example, this is a good place to start. Covers many of the basics including rhythm, rhyme, forms, lines, emotional context, voice.

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