Saturday, September 29, 2012

Poetry: An Introduction

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When I was a high school English teacher teaching poetry, it was a fantasy of mine that one day some other high school teacher would be teaching my poems. That's a fantasy that has happily come true several times. But I'm moving on and up to college now. My poem, Linguini, has been included in Poetry: An Introduction, a new college-level textbook from Bedford / St. Martin's.

At 864 pages, Poetry: An Introduction is a big book. Edited by Michael Meyer, this is the 7th edition of this book. It includes three different tables of contents: Brief Contents; Contents, which is much more extensive and includes poem titles and authors; and Thematic Contents for those who want to study poetry in thematic units. There is a wide range of poems, classic and contemporary.

The elements of poetry and forms and free verse are covered in the first eleven chapters. These are followed by close studies of four poets; a study of T.S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"; a case study of the Harlem Renaissance; and five thematic case study chapters.

The book covers how to critically read and write about poetry and includes a detailed section on how to write a poetry research paper and document it using MLA guidelines.

Poems are included throughout the book, along with follow-up questions, assignments, and prompts. There is also An Anthology of Poems.

New to this edition is an expanded number of online resources for both students and teachers, including access to video interviews with writers. Scattered throughout the book are brief pieces of advice from the poets whose poems are included. This new feature should be especially appealing to students.

Everything a teacher needs to teach poetry is contained in Poetry: An Introduction. In fact, there's enough to last several semesters.


  1. Congratulations, Diane -- this is a huge feather in your already feathery cap. If I ever get to teach poetry at the college level, I would use this book!

    1. Hopefully, you will get that course before the 8th edition!


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