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The Art and Craft of Poetry [Paperback]

Michael J. Bugeja
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

With The Art & Croft of Poetry, poets will build their poetry-writing skills with help from past and contemporary masters - everything from generating ideas to examining the finished poem. They'll learn how to:. Use journals to develop their observational skills and turn life experiences into ideas for poems. Master the tools of the trade - voice, line, stanza, title, metre and rhyme. Acquire fluency in a variety of poetry formats and forms, everything from narrative, lyric and dramatic verse (traditional formats) to fixed, free and sequence styles (traditional forms). Fine tune their work Exercises, assignments and sample work from more than 100 standout poets - everyone from Walt Whitman to Louise Gluck - ensure that every reader, whether poet, student or bibliophile, discovers just how extraordinary poetry can be.

About the Author

Michael J. Bugeja has published five collections of his poetry. He is a full professor at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. He lives in Athens, Ohio.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Teach Yourself How to Write Poetry Nov. 10 2003
By rizabiz
Format:Paperback
Sonnet, iambic pentameter, the villanelle. . . .and free form. How can a non-poet form reasonable and enjoyable poetry? This book is the answer especially if you appreciate poetry and want to learn some forms to test your ideas. This is the book. It's broken down into 3 sections. The first is a non-intimidating idea section which allows the reader to dip into his/her unconscious and come up with tons of ideas for poems and prose. You don't start off with a poem until the next two chapters where you take ideas from the idea file and utilize them. I mean, who knew how important a very effective title was to poetry, poets perhaps? The last chapter discusses the particular forms and how you can revise, yes you can revise, your poems to work into a form. This book's format was incredibly enjoyable. After reading it once, I had several poems that I was happy with. When I read it again, yes, this is definately a book to read more than once, I will get more ambitious and focus on forms. This first time I just had fun. I can see why it is recommended by teachers for students. Or, like me, you can teach yourself.
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Format:Paperback
Michael J. Bugeja, The Art and Craft of Poetry (Writer's Digest, 1994)
Bugeja gets the first Gentleman's C I have ever given a book. I didn't even make the fifty-page mark with this turkey, quitting twenty-seven pages in, because Bugeja broke the cardinal rule of poetry in a flagrant and offensive way; while discussing a poem he uses as an example, he writes, "...but none of this is important; the only thing that is is what was in [the author]'s head at the time." This is, as any poet half worth his salt knows, not only untrue, but offensive in the extreme. If this is the kind of thing which poetry 101 classes are being fed today, it's no wonder the world is so crammed with people who write bad poetry (one rejects the idea of calling them poets).
So why am I giving it the Gentleman's C? Well, because judging from the earlier writings here, when Bugeja isn't flaunting the idea that reader interpretation is meaningless and unimportant, he does have a few things to say worth reading. Also, the book can double as an anthology of poetry stretching from Shakespeare to modern times, and it has some value in that regard. As a teaching tool, though, readers are advised to stay far away until they fully understand that reader interpretation is not only valid, but as valid as author interpretation, of any poem, so as not to be poisoned by such irresponsible statements on the author's part. ** 
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Teaching Tool July 6 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Michael Bugeja's book is geared toward writers of any caliber, especially those who do not appreciate scholarly approaches to poetry composition. This text is hand's on and continues to be a best-seller after almost a decade because the instruction is based on effective teaching, rhymed and free verse approaches, and several levels of exercises at the end of each chapter. The work also comes with an extensive anthology exposing the reader to poetry from Shakespeare to the current era.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Where to Begin and Where to Grow Sept. 1 2003
Format:Paperback
This how-to-write poetry text is good to begin with and good to grow with. Each chapter is followed by a brief but diverse selection of poems that illustrate the principles discussed in the chapter. Suggested assignments are provided at levels one, two, and three so that students can work through the book three times at increasing levels of sophistication. My sophomore creative writing poetry students begin with this text.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best text on writing poetry Sept. 9 2004
By Joan Mazza - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I've read many books on writing poetry and Bugeja's ART AND CRAFT OF POETRY is the best among them. He offers the clearest explanations of how meter, line length, and rhyme influence tone and meaning in a poem. His section on forms is absolutely the most comprehensive, explaining how to make formal verse into GOOD poetry beyond simply following the technical rules. Suggestions include writing the envoi first in a sestina, shaping meaning in a pantoum, and how to make the repeating lines of a villanelle do multiple tasks. I agree with the reviewer who said she'd want this book if stranded on a island. I can't read more than a page without stopping to write and I know that I've produced several publishable poems. I also know what I can do to revise poems that I knew didn't work, but wasn't sure how to fix them before reading this book. Excellent! I couldn't be more enthusiastic.
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Teach Yourself How to Write Poetry Nov. 10 2003
By rizabiz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Sonnet, iambic pentameter, the villanelle. . . .and free form. How can a non-poet form reasonable and enjoyable poetry? This book is the answer especially if you appreciate poetry and want to learn some forms to test your ideas. This is the book. It's broken down into 3 sections. The first is a non-intimidating idea section which allows the reader to dip into his/her unconscious and come up with tons of ideas for poems and prose. You don't start off with a poem until the next two chapters where you take ideas from the idea file and utilize them. I mean, who knew how important a very effective title was to poetry, poets perhaps? The last chapter discusses the particular forms and how you can revise, yes you can revise, your poems to work into a form. This book's format was incredibly enjoyable. After reading it once, I had several poems that I was happy with. When I read it again, yes, this is definately a book to read more than once, I will get more ambitious and focus on forms. This first time I just had fun. I can see why it is recommended by teachers for students. Or, like me, you can teach yourself.
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Start Your Poetry Here May 7 2000
By Bridget Becker - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
If I were sent to an island to live alone and could bring only three things with me, they would be a gross of pens, a case of paper and The Art and Craft of Poetry. Michael immediately immerses the reader into the world of poetry. He starts at the beginning, with the issue most frustrating to beginning poets - What do I write about? By the end of Chapter 1 the reader is armed with enough ideas and resources to last several lifetimes. He then takes you on a brief but meaningful tour of poetry genres, complete with exercises. By the time you have completed these exercises you realize he has not only presented genres, but forms as well. He then discusses the forms of poetry in greater depth, both historic and contemporary. Even if you never plan to write a poem, this book will broaden your understanding and appreciation of this beloved and increasingly popular form of literature.
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Teaching Tool July 6 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Michael Bugeja's book is geared toward writers of any caliber, especially those who do not appreciate scholarly approaches to poetry composition. This text is hand's on and continues to be a best-seller after almost a decade because the instruction is based on effective teaching, rhymed and free verse approaches, and several levels of exercises at the end of each chapter. The work also comes with an extensive anthology exposing the reader to poetry from Shakespeare to the current era.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!! Sept. 10 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
There's no getting around it. Michael Bugeja knows his stuff. This book is an incredibly thorough survey of the different types of poetry being published today, with many examples of each kind as well as general advice about the creation of such poems. I enjoyed the various exercises at the end of each chapter that allow you to continue using the book as you progress as a poet. The book is well written, straightforward and has made me a better poet.
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