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W. H. Auden was once asked what advice he would give a young man who wished to become a poet . Auden replied that he would ask the young man why he wanted to write poetry . If the answer was “ because I have something important to say ...
You are old , Father William , " the young man cried , " And pleasures with youth pass away ; And yet you lament not the days that are gone : Now tell me the reason , I pray . ” " In the days of my youth , " Father William replied ...
O where hae ye been , my handsome young man ? " " I hae been to the wild wood ; mother , make my bed soon , For I'm weary wi ' hunting , and fain wald lie down . ” " Where gat ye your dinner , Lord Randal , my son ?
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I have experienced this book in several editions. The operative word in the title is "how." As an amateur poet for whom finding the technical construction of a "poem," or even something so prosaic as the very definition of poetry, this book over the past 40 years has been vital. Ciardi takes the word craft down to basic tools of craftsmanship, such as a pinter wild word with such basic as palate, paint, canvas, easel, brushes, etc. Probably his best chapter is that taht tells why a much beloved poem like
"Invictus" isa very bad poem, changed my whole way of looking at my own work. The example poems in the book, which have changed some from one edition to the next, are themselves very important. This is is a must book for both writers and readers.
Walter De la Mare The Listeners
Edwin Arlington Robinson Mr Floods Party
John Keats The Eve of St Agnes
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