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How to Read Poetry Like a Professor: A Quippy and Sonorous Guide to Verse
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HarperCollins 2018
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From the bestselling author of How to Read Literature Like a Professor comes this essential primer to reading poetry like a professor that unlocks the keys to enjoying works from Lord Byron to the Beatles.

No literary form is as admired and feared as poetry. Admired for its lengthy pedigree—a line of poets extending back to a time before recorded history—and a ubiquitous presence in virtually all cultures, poetry is also revered for its great beauty and the powerful emotions it evokes. But the form has also instilled trepidation in its many admirers mainly because of a lack of familiarity and knowledge.
Poetry demands more from readers—intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually—than other literary forms. Most of us started out loving poetry because it filled our beloved children's books from Dr. Seuss to Robert Louis Stevenson. Eventually, our reading shifted to prose and later when we encountered poetry again, we had no recent experience to make it feel familiar. But reading poetry doesn't need to be so overwhelming. In an entertaining and engaging voice, Thomas C. Foster shows readers how to overcome their fear of poetry and learn to enjoy it once more.

From classic poets such as Shakespeare, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Edna St. Vincent Millay to later poets such as E.E. Cummings, Billy Collins, and Seamus Heaney, How to Read Poetry Like a Professor examines a wide array of poems and teaches readers:

  • How to read a poem to understand its primary meaning.
  • The different technical elements of poetry such as meter, diction, rhyme, line structures, length, order, regularity, and how to learn to see these elements as allies rather than adversaries.
  • How to listen for a poem's secondary meaning by paying attention to the echoes that the language of poetry summons up.
  • How to hear the music in poems—and the poetry in songs!
  • With How to Read Poetry Like a Professor, readers can rediscover poetry and reap its many rewards.

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    Format:
    Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
    Street Date:
    03/27/2018
    Language:
    English
    ISBN:
    9780062684066
    ASIN:
    B071KYZC8R
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    APA Citation (style guide)

    Thomas C. Foster. (2018). How to Read Poetry Like a Professor: A Quippy and Sonorous Guide to Verse. HarperCollins.

    Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

    Thomas C. Foster. 2018. How to Read Poetry Like a Professor: A Quippy and Sonorous Guide to Verse. HarperCollins.

    Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

    Thomas C. Foster, How to Read Poetry Like a Professor: A Quippy and Sonorous Guide to Verse. HarperCollins, 2018.

    MLA Citation (style guide)

    Thomas C. Foster. How to Read Poetry Like a Professor: A Quippy and Sonorous Guide to Verse. HarperCollins, 2018.

    Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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          Thomas C. Foster, author of How to Read Literature Like a Professor and Reading the Silver Screen, is professor emeritus of English at the University of Michigan, Flint, where he taught classes in contemporary fiction, drama, and poetry, as well as creative writing and freelance writing. He is also the author of several books on 20th-century British and Irish literature and poetry.

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    How to Read Poetry Like a Professor
    fullDescription

    From the bestselling author of How to Read Literature Like a Professor comes this essential primer to reading poetry like a professor that unlocks the keys to enjoying works from Lord Byron to the Beatles.

    No literary form is as admired and feared as poetry. Admired for its lengthy pedigree—a line of poets extending back to a time before recorded history—and a ubiquitous presence in virtually all cultures, poetry is also revered for its great beauty and the powerful emotions it evokes. But the form has also instilled trepidation in its many admirers mainly because of a lack of familiarity and knowledge.
    Poetry demands more from readers—intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually—than other literary forms. Most of us started out loving poetry because it filled our beloved children's books from Dr. Seuss to Robert Louis Stevenson. Eventually, our reading shifted to prose and later when we encountered poetry again, we had no recent experience to make it feel familiar. But reading poetry doesn't need to be so overwhelming. In an entertaining and engaging voice, Thomas C. Foster shows readers how to overcome their fear of poetry and learn to enjoy it once more.

    From classic poets such as Shakespeare, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Edna St. Vincent Millay to later poets such as E.E. Cummings, Billy Collins, and Seamus Heaney, How to Read Poetry Like a Professor examines a wide array of poems and teaches readers:

  • How to read a poem to understand its primary meaning.
  • The different technical elements of poetry such as meter, diction, rhyme, line structures, length, order, regularity, and how to learn to see these elements as allies rather than adversaries.
  • How to listen for a poem's secondary meaning by paying attention to the echoes that the language of poetry summons up.
  • How to hear the music in poems—and the poetry in songs!
  • With How to Read Poetry Like a Professor, readers can rediscover poetry and reap its many rewards.

    reviews
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          "[An] accessible guide... [Foster's] discussion of symbolism is particularly effective and may help readers learn to actually enjoy the experience of interpreting a poem... Students struggling to understand poetry, or even English instructors struggling to teach it, could benefit immensely from Foster's guidance."Publishers Weekly

          "Foster's enthusiasm is infectious...he has clearly enjoyed teaching and sharing his love of literature with his students during his long career. How to Read Poetry Like a Professor is not unlike that freshman English class that everyone vies to enroll in—entertaining and informative without being intimidating. The curriculum is on point, and in the end, you'll have the tools to truly 'get' poetry, with all its manifest themes and variations." — BookPage

        • premium: True
        • source: Publisher's Weekly
        • content:

          February 5, 2018
          Literary critic Foster (How to Read Literature Like a Professor) explicates the fundamentals of reading and understanding poetry in this accessible guide designed for the lay audience. He addresses the common anxieties expressed by readers unfamiliar with poetry (i.e., “I don’t understand it”), and responds with patient and frequently witty explanation. In addition to breaking down essential terminology, the different types of meter, stanzas, sonnets, and so forth, Foster offers insight into the definition of poetry, “an exploration of language” that is simultaneously “the experiment and the laboratory where it takes place.” Foster has chosen his citations well, exploring Langston Hughes’s use of dialect and jazz in a discussion on rhythm, pointing out T.S. Eliot’s ingenious enjambment in “The Waste Land,” and using Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” as a catalyst for differentiating a poem’s author from its speaker. His discussion of symbolism is particularly effective and may help readers learn to actually enjoy the experience of interpreting a poem. He does not reference many contemporary poets, however, with the exception of former U.S. poet laureate Billy Collins, and female poets are underrepresented. However, students struggling to understand poetry, or even English instructors struggling to teach it, could benefit immensely from Foster’s guidance.

        • premium: True
        • source: Library Journal
        • content:

          March 1, 2018

          Pleasant and sometimes very charming, this book (the third in a series by Foster that started with How To Read Literature Like a Professor) is sure to inspire both the curious general reader and the scholar. Written for the former, it strives to open readers' eyes to the pleasures of the poet's art, and packs enough insight to engage and excite audiences of almost any level. Foster (English emeritus, Univ. of Michigan) has a gift for introducing such daunting topics as meter, form, and enjambment with skill and humor, and does a capable job of taking the pain out of symbolism and imagery by emphasizing the importance of reading the words on the page and trusting your own intuition. What is most admirable in this work is the way Foster sets the reader free to embrace the text, to question the text, and finally to make the text their own. Though the book isn't always successful, it is stuffed with helpful advice, comes with a nice selection of poems and passages from longer works, and could open the doors and windows of poetry wide for readers who have too long avoided some of the world's greatest writers. VERDICT Recommended for high school and public library collections.--Herman Sutter, St. Agnes Acad., Houston

          Copyright 2018 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    From the bestselling author of How to Read Literature Like a Professor comes this essential primer to reading poetry like a professor that unlocks the keys to enjoying works from Lord Byron to the Beatles.

    No literary form is as admired and feared as poetry. Admired for its lengthy pedigree—a line of poets extending back to a time before recorded history—and a ubiquitous presence in virtually all cultures, poetry is also revered for its great beauty and the powerful emotions it evokes. But the form has also instilled trepidation in its many admirers mainly because of a lack of familiarity and knowledge.
    Poetry demands more from readers—intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually—than other literary forms. Most of us started out loving poetry because it filled our beloved children's books from Dr. Seuss to Robert Louis Stevenson. Eventually, our reading shifted to prose and later when we encountered poetry again, we had no...

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