Perfect for the general reader of poetry, students and teachers of literature, and aspiring poets, All the Fun's in How You Say a Thing is a lively and comprehensive study of versification by one of our best contemporary practitioners of traditional poetic forms. Emphasizing both the coherence and the diversity of English metrical practice from Chaucer's time to ours, Timothy Steele explains how poets harmonize the fixed units of meter with the variable flow of idiomatic speech, and examines the ways in which poets have used meter, rhyme, and stanza to communicate and enhance meaning. Steele illuminates as well many practical, theoretical, and historical issues in English prosody, without ever losing sight of the fundamental pleasures, beauties, and insights that fine poems offer us.
Written lucidly, with a generous selection of helpful scansions and explanations of the metrical effects of the great poets of the English language, All the Fun's in How You Say a Thing is not only a valuable handbook on technique; it is also a wide-ranging study of English verse and a mine of entertaining information for anyone wishing more fully to write, enjoy, understand, or teach poetry.
Poems Of J.V. Cunningham
J.V. Cunningham Ohio University Press, 1997 Library of Congress PS3505.U435A17 1997 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
The lifework in verse of one of the century's finest and liveliest American poets, this collection of the poems of J. V. Cunningham (1911-85) documents the poet's development from his early days as an experimental modernist during the Depression to his emergence as the master of the classical “plain style” -- distinguished by its wit, feeling, and subtlety.
Often identified with the epigram -- a genre in which he excelled as distinctively as Jonson, Herrick, and Landor -- Cunningham also wrote in a wide range of other poetic forms and was a remarkable translator. This collection, designed to show the poet's range and skill, incorporates the materials of his 1971 Collected Poems and Epigrams and restores their original arrangement. It also adds many of his later poems and translations and some uncollected pieces from his periodicals.
Timothy Steele's notes and introduction assist in re-establishing Cunningham's position as a twentieth-century original, a poet who is remembered equally for emotional power and stylistic purity.
"Desperately and delightfully unfashionable" was how reviewer Richmond Lattimore characterized Timothy Steele's Uncertainties and Rest when it first appeared in 1979. Sapphics against Anger and Other Poems appeared in 1986 and solidified and extended Steele's reputation as, in the words of Publishers Weekly, "one of the finest contemporary poets to write in meter and traditional forms." Sapphics and Uncertainties: Poems 1970-1986 draws together these two books into a single volume. This collection offers the most substantial gathering yet from a body of work widely praised for its tonal and thematic range and for its wit and warmth of feeling.
Taken In Faith: Poems
Helen Pinkerton Ohio University Press, 2002 Library of Congress PS3531.I714T35 2002 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
In 1967, Yvor Winters wrote of Helen Pinkerton, “she is a master of poetic style and of her material. No poet in English writes with more authority.” Unfortunately, in 1967 mastery of poetic style was not, by and large, considered a virtue, and Pinkerton's finely crafted poems were neglected in favor of more improvisational and flashier talents. Though her work won the attention and praise of serious readers, who tracked her poems as they appeared in such journals as The Paris Review, The Sewanee Review, and The Southern Review, her verse has never been available in a trade book. Taken in Faith remedies that situation, bringing Pinkerton's remarkable poems to a general audience for the first time.
Even her very earliest works embody a rare depth and seriousness. Primarily lyrical and devotional, they always touch on larger issues of human struggle and conduct. More recent poems, concerned in part with history, exhibit a stylistic as well as a thematic shift, moving away from the rhymed forms of her devotional works into a blank verse marked by a quiet flexibility and contemplative grace.
Like Virginia Adair, another poet who waited long for proper recognition, Pinkerton speaks as a woman who has lived fully and observed acutely and who has set the life and observations down in memorable verse. Taken in Faith represents a half-century of her poetic efforts.
Since the appearance of Timothy Steele’s first collection of poems in 1979, growing numbers of readers and critics have recognized him as one of the best and most significant poets of his generation. Widely credited with anticipating and encouraging the revival of poetry in traditional form, Steele has produced a body of work praised for its technical accomplishment, its intellectual breadth, and its emotional energy.
Toward the Winter Solstice, Steele’s first collection of new poems in twelve years, features his characteristic grace, wit, and power, while extending his range. In addition to the relatively short lyrical, descriptive, and contemplative poems he has always written so well, this collection offers several middle-length pieces that read almost like compressed novels.
Addressing a variety of topics and themes, Toward the Winter Solstice explores the relationship between the world of nature and the world of ideas. In one way or another, the poems attempt to link the external material universe with that sense of inward self-awareness central to our experience of life. Throughout, Steele writes with a clarity that not only illuminates his subjects but also acknowledges and preserves their ultimate mystery and complexity.