How to read a poem. A lot of books want to teach just that. How is this one different?
Think of it less as an instructional book and more as an invitation. For the student new to poetry, this guide will open his senses to the combined craft and magic known as "poems".
For teachers and "the well versed," if you will, this book might make you fall in love again.
How to Read a Poem uses images like the mouse, the hive, the switch (from the Billy Collins poem "Introduction to Poetry")—to guide readers into new ways of understanding poems.
Excellent teaching tool. Anthology included.
***What Teachers Are Saying***
"This book will not sit on my bookshelf, but on my desk."
—Lexanne Leonard, elementary teacher
"Having taught poetry in high schools for over twenty-five years, I’ve grown tired of Intro-to-Poetry texts that feel they must overwhelm the student with the authors’ erudition or the art’s storied history of technique. If there is truly a need for the news only poetry can deliver, then those tomes make dismal advertisements. Tania Runyan has broken with this flat tradition and, in affectionate conversation with the wit of Billy Collins, produced a model for engaging in discovery of poetry’s value—no prior book-learning or companion text required. Which is not to say her ambition is slight; she would thrill to see novices become lifelong readers, even passionate scholars of the art and poets themselves, but she gets it. Her book reads like a playful love letter—a creative intercession on poetry’s behalf—to the hearts of a new generation, those on whom so much, like the future of the art, depends."
—Brad Davis, Poet, teacher, and counselor at Pomfret School
"I teach Introduction to Literature, among other courses, and this will be main textbook for the poetry unit from now on. I love the emphasis on experiencing poems rather than on interpreting or evaluating them. Runyan's use of the Collins poem as a structural device is brilliant and carried through well. I like a lot of the poems she selected as examples, and her own prose is unintimidating and witty."
—Tom Hunley, Assistant Professor of English, Western Kentucky University