To be honest I found large sections of this book of no interest to me Dobyns wrote many long essays on individual authors
that I skipped However when he wrote in eneral terms about the purpose of poetry I skipped However when he wrote in eneral terms about the purpose of poetry makes a ood poem the magic of metaphors the importance of pacing t I found this book less compelling and intellectually concise than Czeslaw Milosz s The Witness of Poetry Milosz but also less interfering between reader and poem and thereby slightly condescending than Edward Hirsch s How To Read A Poem Hirsch Mostly this is an excellent read into the evolution of free Mostly this is an excellent read into the evolution of free something every contemporary poet should understand this is our heritage
This Collection Of Essayscollection of essays an illuminating exploration of poetry from a number of different angles the broad purposes and philosophy of poetry the historical development of several poetic styles and schools biographies of several individual poets line by line analyses of poems that broke down the poetic and linguistic elements to a Prisoner of Midnight granular level than I ve seen and finally the backstory behind one of the author s own works While it took me a while to work my way through the book and some chapters were farther afield from what I was looking for initially it was all rather fascinating and felt like being back inrad school in a BOSH!: The Cookbook: Simple Recipes. Amazing Food. All Plants. good way 45 stars and I mlad I already picked up his Next Word Better Word Very useful for serious writing This is just wonderful Those who like me first came to Dobyn s work through the SaratogaCharlie Bradshaw mysteries then his lovely poetry are in for further revelations He is deeply learned humane with analyses that are sometimes dense or at least reuiring concentration but also down to earth Beautifully done and well worth the time and effort it makes to follow his lively mind In this new edition of Best Words Best Order Stephen Dobyns further explains the mystery of the poet's work Through essays on memory and metaphor pacing and the intricacies of voice and. Of reading and writing the poem that creates the emotional alchemy And this process transports a tiny piece of truth out of another world into this one How is that done This book defines many aspects of the craft and magic symbols and stuff of poetry truth Beauty Rhythm Dream Harmony Suspense rhythm dream harmony suspense surprise And in the end what matters in writing is that we writer and reader are changed We must enter the poem blind without the confidence we know what truth we will find Dobyns explores these ideas and in this collection of essays based on his craft lectures iven to MFA classes He also devotes chapters to the lives and works of several of his favorite writers Rilke Chekhov Baudelaire and my favorite Ritsos If you have the soul of an or if you want to know how the soul of an artist if you want to know how think and work I recommend The chapters on Free Verse Metaphor Pacing and Tone were all uite interesting the first being the longest and best I took notes underlined and highlighted freuently I believe there are some wonderful insights here which will make me a better poet if I m able to make them second natureLike many of the other reviewers here I found the chapters on individual poets rather boring and in skipped two of them The one on Osip Mandelstam was personally interesting to me because I like Mandelstam s poetry but that doesn t mean that chapter would be any less rueling for another reader The ending essay regarding Beauty started off in a promising way but it uickly devolved into an academic debate between Dobyns and Elaine Scarry Scarry is actually a professor I m familiar with as I deeply enjoyed her book The Body In Pain but the discussion Dobyns is having regarding her views on beauty is deeply uninteresting especially when reading a book supposedly devoted to the craft of poetry. Obyns has added two new essays one dealing with the idea of beauty in poetry and another dealing with the almost mystical way poets connect seemingly disparate elements in a single work.