Mary Oliver, A Poetry Handbook…..

I’ve recently become obsessed with Mary Oliver….I’ve read her before and didn’t like her but at this time in my life I think she is one of the greatest poets around today….I saw her brand new book in the store and that hooked me with the rest of her poetry….unfortunately, I’ve only been reading her words in library’s and bookstores so I don’t have anything to quote off hand…

but I did officially finish her craft poetry book, A Poetry Handbook….and it was great….she approaches poetry from a contemporary poets point of view which is great because she talks about why a writer would need to know past poets no matter how conventional they were and their connection with our own free-form poetry world.

She quotes poets, gives great examples from her fellow contemporaries and explains everything in a casual but informative tone. She even addresses those annoying questions that many beginner poets ask concerning things like the need to study past poets, the purpose of revision, and both the positive and negative attributes of writing workshops.

Her book was written back in 1994 but it all still holds up today and is a great read for both the newbie writer and an advanced writer looking to refresh themselves on tone, diction, and style in their poetry….sometime we all need to be reminded about from time to time….

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