The Poetry Handbook is a lucid and entertaining guide to the poet's craft, and an invaluable introduction to practical criticism for students. Chapters on each element of poetry, from metre to gender, offer a wide-ranging general account, and end by looking at two or three poems from a small group (including works by Donne, Elizabeth Bishop, Geoffrey Hill, and Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott), to build up sustained analytical readings.
Thorough and compact, with notes and quotations supplemented by detailed reference to the Norton Anthology of Poetry and a companion website with texts, links, and further discussion, The Poetry Handbook is indispensable for all school and undergraduate students of English. A final chapter addresses examinations of all kinds, and sample essays by undergraduates are posted on the website. Critical and scholarly terms are italicised and clearly explained, both in the text and in a
complete glossary; the volume also includes suggestions for further reading.
The first edition, widely praised by teachers and students, showed how the pleasures of poetry are heightened by rigorous understanding and made that understanding readily available. This second edition — revised, expanded, updated, and supported by a new companion website - confirm The Poetry Handbook as the best guide to poetry available in English.