How Poems Think

Paperback | September 23, 2015

byReginald Gibbons

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To write or read a poem is often to think in distinctively poetic ways—guided by metaphors, sound, rhythms, associative movement, and more. Poetry’s stance toward language creates a particular intelligence of thought and feeling, a compressed articulation that expands inner experience, imagining with words what cannot always be imagined without them. Through translation, poetry has diversified poetic traditions, and some of poetry’s ways of thinking begin in the ancient world and remain potent even now. In How Poems Think, Reginald Gibbons presents a rich gallery of poetic inventiveness and continuity drawn from a wide range of poets—Sappho, Pindar, Shakespeare, Keats, William Carlos Williams, Marina Tsvetaeva, Gwendolyn Brooks, and many others. Gibbons explores poetic temperament, rhyme, metonymy, etymology, and other elements of poetry as modes of thinking and feeling. In celebration and homage, Gibbons attunes us to the possibilities of poetic thinking.

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To write or read a poem is often to think in distinctively poetic ways—guided by metaphors, sound, rhythms, associative movement, and more. Poetry’s stance toward language creates a particular intelligence of thought and feeling, a compressed articulation that expands inner experience, imagining with words what cannot always be imagine...

Reginald Gibbons is the Frances Hooper Professor of Arts and Humanities at Northwestern University. His most recent poetry collections are Creatures of a Day, a finalist for the National Book Award; and Slow Trains Overhead: Chicago Poems and Stories.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:208 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.7 inPublished:September 23, 2015Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022627800X

ISBN - 13:9780226278001

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Table of Contents

Introduction: How Poems Think

1          This Working against the Grain
2          Fortunately, the Marks on the Page Are Alien
3          On Rhyme
4          On Apophatic Poetics (I): “Teach Me That Nothing”
5          On Apophatic Poetics (II): Varieties of Absence
6          The Curious Persistence: Techne
7          Simultaneities: The Bow, the Lyre, the Loom
8          Onyx-Eyed Odalisques
9          “Had I a Hundred Mouths, a Hundred Tongues”

Afterword: A Demonstration

Acknowledgments
References
Index

Editorial Reviews

“Poking into cobwebby corners, weaving narrative into discourse, using assemblage, How Poems Think is a trove. I read it with a pencil — until I saw that underlining everything was the same as underlining nothing.”