The best books on poetry

25 April 2014

First, a caveat. I cannot possibly claim this to be a definitive list. It’s a list. It’s my list. Yours would surely be different. I’d love to hear your recommendations for great books about poetry. Here are mine.

ABC of Reading by Ezra Pound

ABC of Reading by Ezra Pound
You may not agree with everything he says, but this book is a sharp, well-intentioned slap round the back of the head. 'Pay attention,' it says. 'Here’s what really matters.'

The Poetry Handbook by John Lennard

The Poetry Handbook by John Lennard
If you want to brush up on assonance, chiasmus and iambs, this book on the technique and craft of poetry provides clear explanations.

On Poetry by Glyn Maxwell

On Poetry by Glyn Maxwell
Imagine having a conversation with a great poet about poetry – it’s that sense of informality, the hard-won insights of a practitioner lightly imparted, that makes this such an engaging book. I particularly enjoyed the writing on the importance of white space in poetry. But then I have a thing about that.

The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Sonnets and Poems

The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Sonnets and Poems
Because you may as well learn from the master.

 

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