An Introduction to Poetic Forms  book cover
1st Edition

An Introduction to Poetic Forms

Edited By

Patrick Gill

ISBN 9781032154046
Published December 29, 2022 by Routledge
250 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations

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USD $160.00

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Book Description

An Introduction to Poetic Forms offers specimen discussions of poems through the lens of form. While each of its chapters does provide a standard definition of the form in question in its opening paragraphs, their main objective is to provide readings of specific examples to illustrate how individual poets have deviated from or subverted those expectations usually associated with the form under discussion. While providing the most vital information on the most widely taught forms of poetry, then, this collection will very quickly demonstrate that counting syllables and naming rhyme schemes is not the be-all and end-all of poetic form. Instead, each chapter will contain cross-references to other literary forms and periods as well as make clear the importance of the respective form to the culture at large: be it the democratising communicative power of the ballad or the objectifying male gaze of the blazon and resistance to same in the contreblazon – the efficacy of form is explored in the fullness of its cultural dimensions.

In using standard definitions only as a starting point and instead focusing on lively debates around the cultural impact of poetic form, the textbook helps students and instructors to see poetic forms not as a static and lifeless affair but as living, breathing testament to the ongoing evolution of cultural debates. In the final analysis, the book is interested in showing the complexities and contradictions inherent in the very nature of literary form itself: how each concrete example deviates from the standard template while at the same time employing it as a foil to generate meaning.

Table of Contents

1 Introduction: Repetition and Variation

Patrick Gill


Elements of Form

2 Rhyme

Stefan Blohm and Christine A. Knoop

3 Metre

Jesper Kruse

4 Toeing and Breaking the Line: On Enjambment and Caesura

Heather H. Yeung

5 Persona: Its Meaning and Significance

James Dowthwaite

6 Poetry in Performance

Jessica Bundschuh


Poetic Forms

7 The Ballad

Catherine Charlwood

8 Blank Verse

Calista McRae

9 The Blazon

Jordan Kistler

10 Concrete Poetry

Tymon Adamczewski

11 The Dramatic Monologue

Gabriella Hartvig

12 Ekphrastic Poetry

Anja Müller-Wood

13 The Elegy

Patrick Gill

14 The Epic

Rachael Sumner

15 Free Verse

Andrew Rowcroft

16 The Heroic Couplet

Alex Streim

17 The Long Poem

Patrick Gill and Miguel Juan Gronow Smith

18 Mock-Heroic Poetry

Purificación Ribes Traver

19 The Ode

Florian Klaeger

20 The Prospect Poem

Roslyn Irving

21 The Sestina

Matthew Kilbane

22 The Sonnet

Patrick Gill

23 The Villanelle

Patrick Gill

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Patrick Gill is a Senior Lecturer in English Literature and Culture at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany, where he also received his PhD. The co-editor of Constructing Coherence in the British Short Story Cycle (2018) and Translating Renaissance Experience (2021), his ongoing interest is in the efficacy of literary form.