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Poetry 101: From Shakespeare and Rupi Kaur to Iambic Pentameter and Blank Verse, Everything You Need to Know about Poetry

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Become a poet and write poetry with ease with help from this clear and simple guide in the popular 101 series. Poetry never goes out of style. An ancient writing form found in civilizations across the world, poetry continues to inform the way we write now, whether we realize it or not—especially in social media—with its focus on brevity and creating the greatest possible i Become a poet and write poetry with ease with help from this clear and simple guide in the popular 101 series. Poetry never goes out of style. An ancient writing form found in civilizations across the world, poetry continues to inform the way we write now, whether we realize it or not—especially in social media—with its focus on brevity and creating the greatest possible impact with the fewest words. Poetry 101 is your companion to the wonderful world of meter and rhyme, and walks you through the basics of poetry. From Shakespeare and Chaucer, to Maya Angelou and Rupi Kaur, you’ll explore the different styles and methods of writing, famous poets, and poetry movements and concepts—and even find inspiration for creating poems of your own. Whether you are looking to better understand the poems you read, or you want to tap into your creative side to write your own, Poetry 101 gives you everything you need!


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Become a poet and write poetry with ease with help from this clear and simple guide in the popular 101 series. Poetry never goes out of style. An ancient writing form found in civilizations across the world, poetry continues to inform the way we write now, whether we realize it or not—especially in social media—with its focus on brevity and creating the greatest possible i Become a poet and write poetry with ease with help from this clear and simple guide in the popular 101 series. Poetry never goes out of style. An ancient writing form found in civilizations across the world, poetry continues to inform the way we write now, whether we realize it or not—especially in social media—with its focus on brevity and creating the greatest possible impact with the fewest words. Poetry 101 is your companion to the wonderful world of meter and rhyme, and walks you through the basics of poetry. From Shakespeare and Chaucer, to Maya Angelou and Rupi Kaur, you’ll explore the different styles and methods of writing, famous poets, and poetry movements and concepts—and even find inspiration for creating poems of your own. Whether you are looking to better understand the poems you read, or you want to tap into your creative side to write your own, Poetry 101 gives you everything you need!

30 review for Poetry 101: From Shakespeare and Rupi Kaur to Iambic Pentameter and Blank Verse, Everything You Need to Know about Poetry

  1. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Jorquera

    This was a really interesting little "what-to-know" book. it is a good option if someone is wanting to know about poetry. It doesn't go super in depth but is nice for either a refresher or a jump into something you are not familiar with! I also liked how they went with classical poets all the way to contemporary and "now" poets. That was nice! This was a really interesting little "what-to-know" book. it is a good option if someone is wanting to know about poetry. It doesn't go super in depth but is nice for either a refresher or a jump into something you are not familiar with! I also liked how they went with classical poets all the way to contemporary and "now" poets. That was nice!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Phi Beta Kappa Authors

    Susan Dalzell ΦBK, College of Wooster, 1997 Author From the publisher: Become a poet and write poetry with ease with help from this clear and simple guide in the popular 101 series. Poetry never goes out of style. An ancient writing form found in civilizations across the world, poetry continues to inform the way we write now, whether we realize it or not—especially in social media—with its focus on brevity and creating the greatest possible impact with the fewest words. Poetry 101 is your companion Susan Dalzell ΦBK, College of Wooster, 1997 Author From the publisher: Become a poet and write poetry with ease with help from this clear and simple guide in the popular 101 series. Poetry never goes out of style. An ancient writing form found in civilizations across the world, poetry continues to inform the way we write now, whether we realize it or not—especially in social media—with its focus on brevity and creating the greatest possible impact with the fewest words. Poetry 101 is your companion to the wonderful world of meter and rhyme, and walks you through the basics of poetry. From Shakespeare and Chaucer, to Maya Angelou and Rupi Kaur, you’ll explore the different styles and methods of writing, famous poets, and poetry movements and concepts—and even find inspiration for creating poems of your own. Whether you are looking to better understand the poems you read, or you want to tap into your creative side to write your own, Poetry 101 gives you everything you need!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Monique G Grace

    Highly recommended, this is a fantastic introduction into poetry, granted it does not included too many modern poets such as Amanda Lovelace which is the only reason why I have not given the book five stars. It provides an unique insight into the ancient poets such as the Illad and the Odyessy, the epics written by Homer plus an plethora more of modern historical poetry. It also highlights how to read a poem, deciphering and analysing poetry I.e. Stanzas, Meter, Rhythm and Feet.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Christian

    This was a thorough overview of poetry. I read this book to go over the basics of poetry, and i feel as if my goal was achieved. The author was fairly interesting. I give this book four stars simply because it wasn’t as exciting as it could be, but that’s what anyone should expect when reading a more technical book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Catherine

    Want to get into poetry but don’t know where to start? Well this is your book! Poetry 101 is more of a history of the worlds most notable poets, styles of poetry, topics, and even some tips on writing poetry. I’ve been writing for years but this book has given me some zest on who to read next and inspiration to write more.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rodney Jones

    I thought that this was a book that neatly fell into three distinct parts. I found the first (very short) part about poetics both interesting and instructive. However, having thrown a glance at the Greeks and Romans (by coincidence, I was re-reading Horace's 'Odes' in parallel with this book), we quickly moved on to the second more substantial section which was a history of poetry from Beowulf to the Victorians. The content here is fair enough; although I was familiar with most of the material i I thought that this was a book that neatly fell into three distinct parts. I found the first (very short) part about poetics both interesting and instructive. However, having thrown a glance at the Greeks and Romans (by coincidence, I was re-reading Horace's 'Odes' in parallel with this book), we quickly moved on to the second more substantial section which was a history of poetry from Beowulf to the Victorians. The content here is fair enough; although I was familiar with most of the material it would clearly be useful to someone who isn't! The final part - which I must admit that I found somewhat tedious - rounds the work off with a further history from the Modernists to RAP and SLAM, with a heavy emphasis on contemporary American/American-based writers. I found this final part rather unbalanced. People that I had never heard of, and perhaps will not hear of again, appeared to get rather more space than Auden, Pound and Eliot, who everyone should be hearing about. Similarly the 'Beats' seemed to get little attention compared to their merit and importance - yes Ginsberg wrote 'Howl' but he wrote a lot more and surely Ferlinghetti (who is still publishing aged 100) merited as much (or more?) attention than some of the contemporary poets. One could also add Gregory Corso to the list of missed opportunities. And although I must confess to being English, there seemed to be something of a dearth of British poets after 1950. Although I personally found a good deal to irritate me with the book I would not discourage others from reading it. It is well written and, as far as I can tell, factually accurate. For the person who wants a potted history/with biographies of poetry/poets it has much to recommend it. Perhaps it would have been improved by a little more critical appreciation of the work of fewer poets. After all, winning a Pulitzer Prize does not preclude an author from writing bad verse, and I believe that that distinction between poetry and (mere) verse is not discussed in the book. TS Eliot who (some would say arguably - I would same unquestionably) wrote the greatest poem in the English language in the 20th Century (I speak, of course, of 'The Waste Land'), won a Nobel prize in 1948; but most people would agree that Ezra Pound removed a deal of bad verse from the drafts before it went to print. Having discovered something of what RAP is, I will retreat to the safety of Horace and Wordsworth - not to mention Simon Armitage, Tony Harrison, Philip Larkin, Ian McMillan, Sophie Hannah, Paul Muldoon...

  7. 4 out of 5

    Elisha Jachetti

    POETRY 101 by Susan Dalzell is a comprehensive introduction to poetry written in the English language. The book takes us all the way back to the Anglo-Saxons and BEOWULF and brings us through every movement that has transpired since, including the social media poetry that is being produced today. Dalzell moves at a frenetic pace, giving us readers a quick taste of what shaped style and preferences over the years, highlighting not only key players in the poetry space, but also major themes and rh POETRY 101 by Susan Dalzell is a comprehensive introduction to poetry written in the English language. The book takes us all the way back to the Anglo-Saxons and BEOWULF and brings us through every movement that has transpired since, including the social media poetry that is being produced today. Dalzell moves at a frenetic pace, giving us readers a quick taste of what shaped style and preferences over the years, highlighting not only key players in the poetry space, but also major themes and rhythmic choices. At the beginning of the book, Dalzell explains “how to read a poem.” Having grown accustomed to the contemporary non-rhyming, prose-like poems, this section is incredibly helpful for me in understanding earlier work and how meter functions. Unfortunately, I don’t get to put my newfound knowledge to the test as Dalzell doesn’t use many examples. Perhaps including published poems is difficult for copyright reasons, but without them, I can only read about what a poem is intellectually. This trend, unfortunately, continues throughout the book, so though I conceptually understand what an elegy is, for example, I haven’t been exposed to one yet. Dalzell also briefly touches on Ancient Greek and Roman poetry since it inspired the English language poems that came after. However, besides a passing mention of Haikus, she never addresses any other poems from other countries. While I’m sure there is enough material on other cultural poems for completely separate books, it would have been nice to have some idea of how English language poems fit into the global sphere. With that being said, POETRY 101 does a great job at providing readers with the need-to-know basics. It is a wonderful entry point for anyone who has ever been interested in poetry or its history, especially during a time when poetry is in a resurgence. I appreciate how easy this guide is to read and I love getting to know some of the characters who shaped and influenced this art form. I would definitely recommend POETRY 101 to history lovers, artists, and English literature aficionados. Review originally published on YA Books Central here: http://www.yabookscentral.com/yanonfi...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    The book purports to offer "a crash course in poetry", sort of a cliff notes on the topic. It's a nice little book but has some questionable choices of emphasis. First, there isn't that much poetry in the book. Instead of looking a the poetry, we learn about the poet's personal lives, how many lovers they had, how long their children lived, where they died, etc. In that respect the title is deceptive. There is a lot left out and sometimes the elevation of one poet over another--in terms of who The book purports to offer "a crash course in poetry", sort of a cliff notes on the topic. It's a nice little book but has some questionable choices of emphasis. First, there isn't that much poetry in the book. Instead of looking a the poetry, we learn about the poet's personal lives, how many lovers they had, how long their children lived, where they died, etc. In that respect the title is deceptive. There is a lot left out and sometimes the elevation of one poet over another--in terms of who merits their own chapter and who is relegated to a paragraph or footnote--seems questionable. John Milton, Alexander Pope, William Wordsworth, and Robert Browning do not merit chapters but Christopher Marlowe, Paul Dunbar, Elizabeth Browning, Billy Collins, and Rupi Kaur do. Marianne Moore has a chapter but Wallace Stevens and H.D. are just footnotes in Moore's chapter. Sylvia Plath gets a chapter, Dylan Thomas a paragraph. Rap and Slam get a chapter, Grandmaster Flash a sentence, Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen not even a mention. Sure I know these days we are all about breaking up the cannon and making space for women and marginalized groups, but in that case one should be careful to not leave your new enthusiast ignorant of the vastly greater historical importance of Milton, Shakespeare and Chaucer over Collins, Kaur, and Gluck. It would have been better to stick with chapter headings based on movements, eras, and topical themes for a book aiming to offer a crash course on poetry. That said, I'd add that I enjoyed reading the book and it reminded me of some poets I haven't thought about in years and brought some newer ones to my attention. The book at the very least makes poetry and poets intriguing and might convince its readers to read more poetry by the interesting poets the book showcases.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Troy Farlow

    An Excellent Overview of Poetry and Famous Poets. At first and half-way through the book, I thought that the book could provide at least one poem per poet (two to four pages are dedicated to telling about x poet, then y poet, etc.). But at just over 250 pages, it would've been well over 400 pages if they had done that. So, I've made notes of probably 50 to 100 poems to look up and read... ....but the important part about this book is that it brought these 50 to 100 poems - and all these poets and An Excellent Overview of Poetry and Famous Poets. At first and half-way through the book, I thought that the book could provide at least one poem per poet (two to four pages are dedicated to telling about x poet, then y poet, etc.). But at just over 250 pages, it would've been well over 400 pages if they had done that. So, I've made notes of probably 50 to 100 poems to look up and read... ....but the important part about this book is that it brought these 50 to 100 poems - and all these poets and their backgrounds, to my attention. A great book for a primer on poetry!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jenny Thompson

    What you see is very much what you get. It's a good general overview of famous poets and poetic movements, but by its nature, this little book doesn't go into great detail about anything. Additionally, there is very little room for actual poetry. Even 'The Red Wheelbarrow' was described, but not included. I'd also note that this book pretty much entirely focuses on British, Irish, and American poetry - oh, and I think the Haiku gets about half a page. What you see is very much what you get. It's a good general overview of famous poets and poetic movements, but by its nature, this little book doesn't go into great detail about anything. Additionally, there is very little room for actual poetry. Even 'The Red Wheelbarrow' was described, but not included. I'd also note that this book pretty much entirely focuses on British, Irish, and American poetry - oh, and I think the Haiku gets about half a page.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    Really good introduction to poetry. The book does touch on the mechanics of poetry very early and very briefly. The rest of the pages are dedicated moreso to the history of poetry: famous poets, poetry movements, what inspirations and topics poets of certain eras were writing about. And honestly, I found this way more valuable. It really helped me re-contextualize all of the tedious "i spy a literary device" busy work from high school. Really good introduction to poetry. The book does touch on the mechanics of poetry very early and very briefly. The rest of the pages are dedicated moreso to the history of poetry: famous poets, poetry movements, what inspirations and topics poets of certain eras were writing about. And honestly, I found this way more valuable. It really helped me re-contextualize all of the tedious "i spy a literary device" busy work from high school.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Pamela

    This is exactly what the title claims, a nice little refresher course on the basics of poetry. While it doesn't provide actual poems it refers you to numerous works that you can follow up on your own. It covers some mechanics of poetry, specific poets, and schools of poetry. The format is nice too, an easy to carry compact volume. This is exactly what the title claims, a nice little refresher course on the basics of poetry. While it doesn't provide actual poems it refers you to numerous works that you can follow up on your own. It covers some mechanics of poetry, specific poets, and schools of poetry. The format is nice too, an easy to carry compact volume.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    I read this in tandem with my middle-schooler son as part of his National Poetry Month poetry unit (we're pandemic homeschooling this year). I found it to be an excellent overview of the forms, terminology, history and evolution of poetry; as well as a fine introduction to famous and influential poets of each movement. I read this in tandem with my middle-schooler son as part of his National Poetry Month poetry unit (we're pandemic homeschooling this year). I found it to be an excellent overview of the forms, terminology, history and evolution of poetry; as well as a fine introduction to famous and influential poets of each movement.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ernestasia Siahaan

    This is more of a history book on Western poetry, describing different eras and their respective famous poets. I wish there were more snippets of poems from the poets described though - just to quickly get a feel of the poet's style. For a book about poetry history, this book has very little poems inside. This is more of a history book on Western poetry, describing different eras and their respective famous poets. I wish there were more snippets of poems from the poets described though - just to quickly get a feel of the poet's style. For a book about poetry history, this book has very little poems inside.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Charlotte Gunther

    Its title says it all. It is a great review of the forms and terms of poetry in our literature and culture. It throws brief spotlights on familiar names, and explains the trends or innovations that developed into the poetic forms of the present day. Plus, it has a good index.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Siamak Attarian

    This is more of a short history of (English) poetry rather than poetry itself. On that front it is good. There are not many poems in this book or I better say you may find more poems in a random book you pick off your shelf than this book and I'm not kidding. This is more of a short history of (English) poetry rather than poetry itself. On that front it is good. There are not many poems in this book or I better say you may find more poems in a random book you pick off your shelf than this book and I'm not kidding.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Maggie Gordon

    I wanted a quick review of the history of poetry, and this is a nice overview of the western canon! Obviously does not contain everything, but is a good launching off point to consider different eras and styles of work.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

    A Great poetry book of reviews. I am trying to strengthen my own poetry and I believe this is a great help now and in future.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Paula

    Okay survey of well known poets and major poetic styles. Note that this is primarily focused on Western (or more specifically, mainly British and American poets, and predominantly Caucasian).

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jen Phillips

    😴🥱 boring. I picked this book up to help with the concept of poetry but I had hard time getting into it. Still learning how to write poetry but this book isn’t helping at all for me.

  21. 4 out of 5

    dana

    a perfectly succinct introduction to poets, poems, and styles past + present - and everything in between :") a perfectly succinct introduction to poets, poems, and styles past + present - and everything in between :")

  22. 5 out of 5

    Bcoghill Coghill

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sophia McQuillan

  24. 5 out of 5

    Dawn Paoletta

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jamil Adas

  26. 4 out of 5

    Edie

  27. 4 out of 5

    Collin Hugo

  28. 4 out of 5

    Deepak Thomas

  29. 4 out of 5

    Amy

  30. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

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