The Poetry Home Repair Manual: Practical Advice for Beginning Poets

Ted Kooser, Author University of Nebraska Press $19.95 (166p) ISBN 978-0-8032-2769-9
Now the 13th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, the Iowa-born, Nebraska-based Kooser has 40 years' experience in constructing verse. Like Wallace Stevens, Kooser was for many years an insurance executive, and begins chapter one with the following admonition: ""You'll never be able to make a living writing poems."" The soundness of that advice sets the tone for this no-nonsense book, which ""advocates for poems that can be read and understood without professional interpretation."" To that end, he offers plenty of examples from contemporary poets like Jane Hirschfield and B.H. Fairchild (as well as from his own work), explaining uses of rhyme, meter, imagery and other fundamentals without resorting to overly technical language. He stresses the use of judicious detail (which has its source in close observation), and shows, with subtlety, how and when one might shift from metaphor to simile, or vice versa. The last of 12 chapters stresses time as the greatest help in editing: ""leave your poem alone until it looks as if someone else might have written it."" Perhaps the most important feature of the book is Kooser's voice, which comes through clearly and evenly, with little patience for cant, but a clear desire to advise those starting down a largely thankless path. ""The truth is,"" he writes, ""nobody's waiting for you to press your poetry into their hands.""
Reviewed on: 01/31/2005
Release date: 02/01/2005
Show other formats
FORMATS
Paperback - 168 pages - 978-0-8032-5978-2
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.