A Little Book on Form: An Exploration into the Formal Imagination of Poetry

Ecco: HarperCollins. Apr. 2017. 464p. ISBN 9780062332424. $29.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062332448. LIT
Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Hass (Distinguished Professor in Poetry and Poetics, Univ. of California, Berkeley; Time and Materials) has assembled a polished version of his notes and thoughts since 1995 regarding the existence and use of form in poetry. He begins by analyzing single lines of poetry, eventually building on that by adding additional lines until he is writing about four-line stanzas. Throughout this study, the author explains the history and circumstances of the forms that he is evaluating as well as the significance of the syllables and patterns that make up a poem. He uses examples from many different types of verse (sonnets, haiku, etc.) and cultures all over the world in order to show the connections among poems, types of poetry, and how a poet may have improvised to create something unique.
VERDICT This book is for readers curious about the history or analysis of literature, and especially for library collections focused on poetry and poetics. [See Prepub Alert, 10/31/16.]
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