Reading Poetry: An Introduction, 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Reading Poetry

An Introduction, 2nd Edition

By Tom Furniss, Michael Bath


648 pages

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Paperback: 9780582894204
pub: 2007-06-28

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Reading Poetry offers a comprehensive and accessible guide to the art of reading poetry. Successive chapters introduce key skills and critical or theoretical issues, enabling users to read poetry with enjoyment, insight and an awareness of the implications of what they are doing.

This new edition includes a new chapter on ‘Post-colonial Poetry’, a substantial increase in the number of end-of-chapter interactive exercises, and a comprehensive Glossary of poetic terms. Not just an add-on, the Glossary works as a key resource for the structuring of particular topics in any individual teaching or learning programme. Many of the exercises and interactive discussions develop not only the skills of competent close reading but also the necessary confidence and experience in locating historical and other contextual information through library or internet searches. The aim is to enhance readers' literary and scholarly competence – and to make it fun!


"Reading Poetry stands out from other introductions to poetry in its brilliant combination of practical guidance and theoretical savvy. Students who use this book will be helped to enjoy and discuss poems, introduced to some of the major varieties of poetic criticism, and invited to reflect on what makes poetry important today. Reading Poetry is, in my view, the best introductory book on the study of poetry available. " - Professor Derek Attridge, Universityof York

Table of Contents

Contents Acknowledgements Preface Part One: Formal Introduction 1. What Is Poetry? How Do We Read It? 2. Rhythm and Metre 3. Significant Form: Metre and Syntax 4. Creative Form and the Arbitrary Nature of Language Part Two: Textual Strategies 5. Figurative Language 6. Poetic Metaphor 7. Hearing Voices in Poetic Texts 8. Voices with Attitude: Tone and Irony 9. Ambiguity Part Three: Texts in Contexts/Contexts in Texts 10. Introducing Contexts 11. Genre 12. The Sonnet 13. Allusion, Influence and Intertextuality 14. Poetry, Discourse, History 15. The Locations of Poetry 16. Post-Colonial Poetry Part Four: An Open-ended Conclusion 17. Closure, Pluralism and Undecidability Glossary Key to Poems and Passages Discussed or Used for Exercises Bibliography Index

About the Authors

Tom Furniss is Senior Lecturer in English Studies at the Universityof Strathclyde in Glasgow, where he has spent nearly twenty years teaching poetry, literary theory and Romanticism.

Michael Bath taught English literature for more than 30 years at the University of Strathclyde, where his research interests centred on relations between literature and the visual arts, emblems and iconology.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POETRY / General