A POETRY HANDBOOK by Mary Oliver
REFERENCE FOR READERS AND WRITERS OF RHYTHM AND RHYME
Sound, Line, Diction, Image, Rules.
Forms from Free to Strict.
Chapters include: Getting Ready, Reading Poems, Imitation, Sound, More Devices of Sound, The Line, Some Given Forms, Verse That is Free, Diction/Tone/Voice, Imagery, Revision, Workshops and Solitude, Conclusion
Important points about evolution of free form from strict forms of the past
Notes about learning form before delving into free
Stress on learning by imitation – i.e. copying the words of old masters and using these copies to learn rhythm, form, style and tone
“Discussing free verse is like talking about an iceberg, a shining object that is mostly underwater.” (p.68)
“Speech entered the poem. The poem was no longer a lecture, it was time spent with a friend. It’s music was the music of conversation.” (p.70)
“The poem is not a discussion, not a lecture, but an instant – an instance of attention, of noticing something in the world.” (p.74)