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Real Sofistikashun Paperback – Sep 19 2006

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Graywolf Press (Sept. 19 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1555974554
  • ISBN-13: 978-1555974558
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 15 x 1.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #403,854 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon.com: 6 reviews
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
a slow pleasure Oct. 25 2006
By Mr. Richard K. Weems - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Tony Hoagland's poetry already hint subtly at his attention to detail and craft, so the depth to which he can explore the creation of poetry in these essays comes as no surprise. But while Hoagland can write with precision about the marriage of rhetoric, diction and image in poetry and analyze the minutiae of tone and its complexities, he still preserves a delight for the spontaneity of writing and promotes a certain kind of un-knowingness in the process of creation.

This last point is very refreshing to see, for the trap of the basic contradictory action of writing exposition about creative writing is often to dictate or at least suggest conscious focus on the complexities of writing poetry, and all too often essays about poetry writing become flat shells about a very multi-dimensional process. Hoagland resists the impulse to prescribe, if it ever comes to him at all, and instead celebrates the end effects of wonderful poetry. When he does discuss the creation of poetry, he is an advocate of student-mind and fresh outlooks and the ability to change and adapt, as he does in his essays about particular poets like Pinsky and Gluck. Hoagland also defines well the pleasures of schools like language poetry and its energetic playfulness, but identifies fairly where they fall short of being thoroughly satisfying.

But don't take all of this as an impression that the book is stuffy and overly academic. Hoagland maintains a sense of humor through this book, keeping his language accessible and familiar.

Though I sometimes quibbled with Hoagland's choices of poets worthy of very particular attention in their own essays, and in the end I was no more of a fan of the work of these poets than before his praise of them, this sequence of essays will be enlightening to those familiar with the art of poetry. Though this book may prove a little more difficult for those without as much experience already in the craft of poetry, it is worth a slow, deliberate read.
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
an impressive and invaluable contribution Dec 8 2006
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
"Real Sofistikashun: Essays On Poetry And Craft" by Tony Hogland (who is the author of three published poetry collections and is the recipient of the Folger Shakespeare Library's O. B. Hardison, Jr. Poetry Prize) is a compilation of essays in which he deftly explores the craft of writing poetry in a more conversational style than that commonly employed in traditional verse. Hogland addresses the use of metaphor, tone, rhetorical and compositional strategies in a thoroughly `reader friendly' manner that is as inherently fascinating as it is informed and informative. "Real Sofistikashun" is an impressive and invaluable contribution to personal, academic, and community library Literary Studies reference collections and the `Art of Poetry' supplemental reading lists.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Advise of a Master of Contemporary American Poetry June 4 2012
By Zoe - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Tony Hoagland is the real deal, and tucked into these pages are words from the frontlines of American poetry from someone engaged in fighting the battles for understanding what is really going on out there in the too often arcane world of American poetry. Get it on your self ASAP -- there is gold in these essays that will help any poet writing today to better understand their craft and it's position in the landscape of journals and publishing -- this book is golden indeed!
An Excellent Critic May 13 2014
By Schnoodle - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Tony Hoagland is fantastic reading. Following his lively thinking is wonderful fare for the thoughtful. He opens so many doors in a poem. It becomes a house rather than a room... and sometimes a whole hotel.
Great for beginners and how would I know what a practised poet would think? Feb. 25 2014
By Billy Pilgrim - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was my beginning of understanding what poetry is and how to read it and what it is all about basically. I knew as much about poetry as NASCAR racing before reading this which is nothing, what with me having a masters in brit lit and and all I felt a bit foolish but I forded ahead and and got my feet on dry land with the help of Mr. H. I highly recommend it if poetry scares you silly or is totally opaque as it was to me. Can't thank the fellow enough for writing it. I had memorized a lot of poetry in the hopes that it would take but am now firmly convinced that a good teacher is necessary and Tony Hoagland will mesmerize, entertain and remove the veils that afflict you.