Rules for the Dance: A Handbook for Writing and Reading Metrical Verse

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1998 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 194 pages
3 Reviews
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For both readers and writers of poetry, here is a concise and engaging introduction to sound, rhyme, meter, and scansion - and why they matter. "The dance, " in the case of this brief and luminous book, refers to the interwoven pleasures of sound and sense to be found in some of the most celebrated and beautiful poems in the English language, from Shakespeare to Edna St. Vincent Millay to Robert Frost. With a poet's ear and a poet's grace of expression, Mary Oliver helps us understand what makes a metrical poem work - and enables readers, as only she can, to "enter the thudding deeps and the rippling shallows of sound-pleasure and rhythm-pleasure."

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User Review  - Bat - LibraryThing

Clear, lucid, downt-to-earth approach to reading and writing poetry expected of Mary Oliver. This book covers metrics in a nice friendly manner. Nice colection of 50 metrical examples. Not the be all and end all on the subject but a good introduction. Read full review

RULES FOR THE DANCE: A Handbook for Writing and Reading Metrical Verse

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More About Patterns
Line Length
Release of Energy Along the Line
Traditional Forms
Words on a String
Mutes and Other Sounds
The Use of Meter in NonMetric Verse
The Ohs and the Ahs
Reading the Metrical Poem
Then and Now

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1998)

A private person by nature, Mary Oliver (1935-2019) gave very few interviews over the years. Instead, she preferred to let her work speak for itself. And speak it has, for the past five decades, to countless readers. Over the course of her long and illustrious career, Oliver received numerous awards. Her fourth book, American Primitive, won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1984. She also received the Shelley Memorial Award; a Guggenheim Fellowship; an American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Achievement Award; the Christopher Award and the L.L. Winship/PEN New England Award for House of Light ; the National Book Award for New and Selected Poems ; a Lannan Foundation Literary Award; and the New England Booksellers Association Award for Literary Excellence.

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