Why Poetry

Why Poetry

Book - 2017
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"Award-winning poet Matthew Zapruder takes on what it is that poetry - and poetry alone - can do. Zapruder argues that the way we have been taught to read poetry is the very thing that prevents us from enjoying it. In lively, lilting prose, he shows us how that misunderstanding interferes with our direct experience of poetry and creates the sense of confusion or inadequacy that many of us feel when faced with it... Anchored in poetic analysis and steered through Zapruder's personal experience of coming to the form, Why Poetry is engaging and conversational, even as it makes a passionate argument for the necessity of poetry in an age when information is constantly being mistaken for knowledge. While he provides a simple reading method for approaching poems and illuminates concepts like associative movement, metaphor, and negative capability, Zapruder explicitly confronts the obstacles that readers face when they encounter poetry to show us that poetry can be read, and enjoyed, by anyone"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, NY :, Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers,, [2017]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780062343079
Characteristics: xvi, 239 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm


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Feb 20, 2018

This book is addressed to anyone who ever felt there was a trick to poetry that the average person can't easily "get." Zapruder walks the reader through step by step, showing that good poetry is for everyone, but that the whole point of poetry is to allow us to dance in that zone where not everything is explainable. Thus, he says, poetry taps into the deepest part of us, where mysteries often remain, and from the reading of poetry we emerge more fully in touch with who we are. He talks a lot about how poetry makes leaps and connections between ideas and that the comparisons illuminate these ideas and feelings. The poet allows himself or herself into a dreamy state of connection, not always going from A to B directly, but the whole makes a fully human statement about some particular topic. He warns against the idea that "it could mean anything - however I want to interpret it." Although we all will bring our own meanings and nuances to the reading, the poet had a purpose that, if they've done a good job, their words do convey. I'm not explaining it well, but it has changed the way I am thinking about poetry and it's even changed the way I'm attempting to write it. A very precisely written book on the theme of fuzzy thinking.


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