The fifth book I’ve read in the series “The Art of…” (edited by Charles Baxter) The Art of the Poetic Line (2007) by James Longenbach has continued with my overall pleasure of these short, but extremely useful books on writing.
The Art of the Poetic Line focuses on the line in poems, and in some cases, prose, and how the poet creates a sonic pleasure through line endings (otherwise known as “line breaks”). Whether you are a poet or novelist, this book should prove useful on how to consider sounds of syllables, words, and line endings to increase the reading pleasure found both in the reader’s ear and intellect.
“Poems are poems because we want to listen to them,” writes James Longenbach, “But the poet needs to understand what she is rejecting as well as what she is harnessing” (p. 120).
This book, step by step, in three essays, makes it easy for the writer to see clearly on the various tactics other prominent poets (like Eliot and Yeats) have taken in order to achieve success in the varied structures a poem may take.
A recommend for any writer desiring to write better.
The American novelist CG FEWSTON has been a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy in Rome (Italy), a Visiting Fellow at Hong Kong’s CityU, & he’s a member of the Hemingway Society, Club Med, and the Royal Society of Literature. He’s also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) based in London.
He’s the author of several short stories and novels. His works include A Father’s Son (2005), The New America: A Collection (2007), The Mystic’s Smile ~ A Play in 3 Acts (2007), Vanity of Vanities (2011), A Time to Love in Tehran (2015), Little Hometown, America: A Look Back (2020); and forthcoming: Conquergood & the Center of the Intelligible Mystery of Being; A Time to Forget in East Berlin; and, The Endless Endeavor of Excellence.
He has a B.A. in English, an M.Ed. in Higher Education Leadership (honors), an M.A. in Literature (honors), and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing & Fiction. He was born in Texas in 1979.
You can follow the author on Facebook @ cg.fewston – where he has 440,000+ followers