Classic Writings on Poetry

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William Harmon
Columbia University Press, 2005年4月13日 - 560 頁

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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Classic writings on poetry

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Controversy has long surrounded the poem. Sliding like an amoeba from one philosophy, culture, and generation to the next, it has only one truly defining feature: that it cannot be defined. In this ... 閱讀評論全文

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1 The Republic excerpt by Plato
1
2 Poetics by Aristotle
31
3 Ars Poetica by Horace
63
4 Germania excerpt by Publius Cornelius Tacitus
75
5 On the Sublime excerpt by Longinus?
79
6 Skáldskaparmál by Snorri Sturluson
107
7 The Defence of Poesy by Sir Philip Sidney
115
8 Of Education excerpt by John Milton
153
18 English Bards and Scotch Reviewers excerpt by George Gordon Lord Byron
331
19 A Defence of Poetry by Percy Bysshe Shelley
349
20 The Poet by William Cullen Bryant
375
21 Poems by John Keats
379
22 The Poet excerpt by Ralph Waldo Emerson
385
23 Aurora Leigh Fifth Book excerpt by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
405
24 Poems by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
423
25 The Philosophy of Composition by Edgar Allan Poe
429

10 An Essay on Criticism by Alexander Pope
207
Epistle to Dr Arbuthnot by Alexander Pope
229
11 Lives of the Poets excerpts by Samuel Johnson
243
12 The Progress of Poesy by Thomas Gray
269
13 Observations Prefixed to Lyrical Ballads by William Wordsworth
277
14 Biographia Literaria Chapter XIV by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
297
15 The State of Modern Poetry excerpt by Francis Jeffrey
305
16 On Poetry in General excerpt by William Hazlitt
313
17 The Four Ages of Poetry excerpt by Thomas Love Peacock
317
26 Preface to Leaves of Grass first edition 1855 excerpt by Walt Whitman
443
27 The Study of Poetry by Matthew Arnold
461
28 Poems by Emily Dickinson
485
29 Proofs of Holy Writ by Rudyard Kipling
493
30 A Retrospect by Ezra Pound
507
31 The Possibility of a Poetic Drama by T S Eliot
519
32 Poetic Reality and Critical Unreality by Laura Riding Jackson
527
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關於作者 (2005)

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 The Oxford Book of American Light Verse.

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