Classic Writings on Poetry

Kobo ebook | November 5, 2003

byWilliam Harmon

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The poet is the sayer, the namer, and represents beauty. He is a sovereign, and stands on the centre.-Ralph Waldo Emerson, from "The Poet"

"[The poet] is a seer . . . . he is individual . . . he is complete in himself . . . . the others are as good as he, only he sees it and they do not. He is not one of the chorus. "-Walt Whitman, from the preface to Leaves of Grass

Poetry has always given rise to interpretation, judgment, and controversy. Indeed, the history of poetry criticism is as rich and varied a journey as the history of poetry itself. But classic writings such as Emerson’s essay "The Poet" and Whitman’s preface to Leaves of Grass serve as more than a critical "call and response": the works are striking examples of how the finest poets themselves have written on poetics and the works of their peers and predecessors-revealing, in the process, much about the theory and passion behind their own works.

Spanning thousands of years and including thirty-three of the most influential critical essays ever written, Classic Writings on Poetry is the first major anthology of criticism devoted exclusively to poetry. Beginning with a survey of the history of poetics and providing an introduction and brief biography for each reading, esteemed poet and critic William Harmon takes readers from Plato’s Republic and Aristotle’s Poetics to the Norse mythology of Snorri Sturluson’s Skáldskaparmál. John Dryden’s An Essay of Dramatic Poesy and Shelley’s A Defence of Poetry are included, as is an excerpt from Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s verse novel Aurora Leigh, arriving, finally, at the modernist sensibility of "Poetic Reality and Critical Unreality," by Laura (Riding) Jackson. For anyone interested in the art and artifice of poetry, Classic Writings on Poetry is a journey well worth taking.

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The poet is the sayer, the namer, and represents beauty. He is a sovereign, and stands on the centre.-Ralph Waldo Emerson, from "The Poet""[The poet] is a seer . . . . he is individual . . . he is complete in himself . . . . the others are as good as he, only he sees it and they do not. He is not one of the chorus. "-Walt Whitman, from...

Poet, critic, and anthologist, William Harmon is the James Gordon Hanes Professor in the Humanities (English and Comparative Literature) at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is the editor of The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, The Top 500 Poems, and The Classic Hundred Poems, all published by Columbia, as well as...

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Format:Kobo ebookPublished:November 5, 2003Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231503229

ISBN - 13:9780231503228

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Table of Contents

Introduction
1. The Republic (excerpt), by Plato
2. Poetics, by Aristotle
3. Ars Poetica, by Horace
4. Germania (excerpt), by Publius Cornelius Tacitus
5. "On the Sublime" (excerpt), by Longinus(?)
6. Skáldskaparmál, by Snorri Sturluson
7. The Defence of Poesy, by Sir Philip Sidney
8. "Of Education" (excerpt), by John Milton
9. An Essay of Dramatic Poesy, by John Dryden
10. An Essay on Criticism, by Alexander Pope
Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot
11. Lives of the Poets (excerpts), by Samuel Johnson
"Life of Milton"
"Preface to Abraham Cowley"
"Life of Dryden"
"Life of Thomas Gray"
12. The Progress of Poesy, by Thomas Gray
13. Observations Prefixed to Lyrical Ballads, by William Wordsworth
14. Biographia Literaria, Chapter XIV, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
15. The State of Modern Poetry (excerpt), by Francis Jeffrey
16. On Poetry in General (excerpt), by William Hazlitt
17. The Four Ages of Poetry (excerpt), by Thomas Love Peacock
18. English Bards and Scotch Reviewers (excerpt), by George Gordon, Lord Byron
19. A Defence of Poetry, by Percy Bysshe Shelley
20. The Poet, by William Cullen Bryant
21. Poems, by John Keats
22. The Poet (excerpt), by Ralph Waldo Emerson
23. Aurora Leigh, Fifth Book (excerpt), by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
24. Poems, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
25. The Philosophy of Composition, by Edgar Allan Poe
26. Preface to Leaves of Grass, first edition (1855, excerpt), by Walt Whitman
27. The Study of Poetry, by Matthew Arnold
28. Poems, by Emily Dickinson
29. "Proofs of Holy Writ", by Rudyard Kipling
30. A Retrospect, by Ezra Pound
31. The Possibility of a Poetic Drama, by T. S. Eliot
32. Poetic Reality and Critical Unreality, by Laura (Riding) Jackson

Editorial Reviews

Harmon presents a fine collection in the study of poetics--i.e., the study of what poetry is, and should be--from classical antiquity into the early 20th century.... Recommended.