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Perrine's Sound and Sense: An Introduction to Poetry Paperback – Dec 30 2010


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Paperback, Dec 30 2010
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Wadsworth Publishing; 13 edition (Dec 30 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1428289704
  • ISBN-13: 978-1428289703
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 14.2 x 2.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #572,323 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Format: Paperback
My first exposure to Sound and Sense was in high school, and, at the time, I found the book so valuable a resource that I later purchased a copy. Post-college, my views have changed somewhat.
If the tone of the writing was not so condescending, this could be a great book. It defines most of the terms necessary to understand critical texts on poetry, including those analyses related to meter, style, and tone. I find the questions after each poem to be helpful and thought-provoking. That said, it is frustrating to me that the author presents ideas and arguments in absolutes (must, must not, never, always, etc.) and then asserts that the logic that MUST be applied to point A CANNOT be applied to point B (but maybe I have spent too many hours working with lawyers).
My suggestion would be to read the text with a grain of salt. Glean the terminology, answer the questions posed at the end of each poem, follow their suggestions of rereading and considering the many facets of poetry, and try to overlook the condescending manner in which the authors display their opinions as fact.
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By A Customer on Feb. 22 2003
Format: Paperback
I've been nibbling away at a 20 year old edition of this book for a few years in my spare time, and almost every bite has increased my abitity to appreciate poetry. I like the examples, most of them seem pretty old, Frost is about as modern as he gets, but thats ok with me. You might find this book a little annoying if it was required reading in a course, sometimes it asks more questions than it answers.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 17 reviews
55 of 56 people found the following review helpful
A Superb Introduction to Poetry and Poetic Form June 9 2000
By Michael Wischmeyer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I came across an early edition of Sound and Sense a few years ago. At first glance the slighty yellowed text appeared foreboding with chapters like denotation and connotation, imagery, figurative lanaguage, allusion, tone, rhythm and meter, sound and meaning, and so forth. I found it hard to imagine a less lifeless approach to poetry. However, the text did seem to contain a sizeable anthology as an appendix and poetry was abundant in every chapter. I reasoned that I could skip the poetic structure discussions and simply read the poetry.

But from the beginning I found Perrine's style and approach to be stimulating, rather than analytical. Throughout we are immersed in poetry, great poetry, familiar poetry, unfamiliar poetry. Perrine argues that poetry needs to be read and reread carefully for full understanding and appreciation. We need to learn to think about poetry with some seriousness, but not in a cold, calculating manner. We approach new poetry with our eyes and ears open, our senses alive.

Yes, as other reviewers point out, Sound and Sense is structured and does methodically explore poetic forms in some detail. But this is not a drawback. It is actually an aid to understanding. Perrine manages to achieve his instructional objective without diluting his central message: poetry is to be enjoyed. He never forgets that his subject is poetry, and not poetic form and structure.

I have since learned that Perrine's text is still in use today, nearly fifty years after publication of the first edition. (See recent 10th edition 0155073966, June 8, 2000.) How can that be? Few textbooks achieve ten printings, much less ten editions. Even the title change signifies respect; it is no longer simply Sound and Sense, it is "Perrine's Sound and Sense".

I highly recommend Perine's text to anyone willing to invest a little time and study to poetry. The return will be worthwhile. I give Sound and Sense five stars.
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Excellent for use with students Nov. 1 2005
By Brian C. Holly - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I am currently using this book with 11th grade English students, and they have been truly caught up in it. We are actually having arguments in class over poetry!! I do find, however, that it is helpful to do the chapter on rhythm and meter much earlier than I would if I were following the chapters in order. My experience is that students have a difficult time hearing the rhythm of poetry and are generally unable to read aloud with any success. Jumping ahead early to the chapter on rhythm and meter and having the students tap out the meters and then mark the scansion produces a wonderful improvement in their ability to hear the poems and read them aloud. I would heartily recommend this book for use in grades 11 and 12, and for college freshman. It makes the study of poetry hugely enjoyable, as it should be but rarely is, for both student and teacher.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Good AP Textbook Dec 15 2004
By Sean Feeney - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
My senior AP Literature and Composition class is using this book as a textbook, and I would have to say it is the best high school English book I've ever used. The questions following each included piece really helps you to focus on what is important in the passage, and the introductions to each chapter are brief and to the point.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
a little at a time Feb. 22 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I've been nibbling away at a 20 year old edition of this book for a few years in my spare time, and almost every bite has increased my abitity to appreciate poetry. I like the examples, most of them seem pretty old, Frost is about as modern as he gets, but thats ok with me. You might find this book a little annoying if it was required reading in a course, sometimes it asks more questions than it answers.
16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Almost a great resource (that I'd give 3.5 Stars, actually) July 10 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
My first exposure to Sound and Sense was in high school, and, at the time, I found the book so valuable a resource that I later purchased a copy. Post-college, my views have changed somewhat.
If the tone of the writing was not so condescending, this could be a great book. It defines most of the terms necessary to understand critical texts on poetry, including those analyses related to meter, style, and tone. I find the questions after each poem to be helpful and thought-provoking. That said, it is frustrating to me that the author presents ideas and arguments in absolutes (must, must not, never, always, etc.) and then asserts that the logic that MUST be applied to point A CANNOT be applied to point B (but maybe I have spent too many hours working with lawyers).
My suggestion would be to read the text with a grain of salt. Glean the terminology, answer the questions posed at the end of each poem, follow their suggestions of rereading and considering the many facets of poetry, and try to overlook the condescending manner in which the authors display their opinions as fact.

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