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The Book of Forms: A Handbook of Poetics [Paperback]

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Item Number 448546  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   349
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.2" Width: 4.9" Height: 1.1"
Weight:   0.8 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 1, 2000
Publisher   UPNE
ISBN  1584650222  
EAN  9781584650225  
UPC  042799321133  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Companion to the Book of Literary Terms, an indispensable handbook, revised and updated for today's users.

Buy The Book of Forms: A Handbook of Poetics by Lewis Turco from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781584650225 & 1584650222 upc: 042799321133

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More About Lewis Turco

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Lewis Putnam Turco is the author of some fifty volumes in the genres of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction including books, chapbooks and monographs. Founder of the Cleveland State University Poetry Center in 1962 and of the creative writing program at the State University of New York College at Oswego in 1968, Turco's first book of criticism, Visions and Revisions of American Poetry, won the Melville Cane Award of the Poetry Society of America in 1986, and his A Book of Fears: Poems, with Italian translations by Joseph Alessia, won the first annual Bordighera BiLingual Poetry Prize in 1998. In 1999 he received the John Ciardi Award for lifetime achievement in poetry sponsored by the periodical Italian Americana and the National Italian American Foundation. Turco's many books include LA FAMIGLIA: THE FAMILY, A BOOK OF FEARS: UN LIBRO DI FOBIE, and SHAKING THE FAMILY TREE: A REMEMBRANCE.

Lewis Turco currently resides in Dresden, in the state of Massachusetts.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > History & Criticism > Criticism & Theory > General   [8246  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > General   [14786  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > History & Criticism > Literary Th   [3022  similar products]
4Books > Subjects > Reference > Foreign Languages > General   [13861  similar products]
5Books > Subjects > Reference > Writing > Poetry   [230  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
looking for term definitions  Feb 19, 2007
"The Book of Forms" is an excellent resource for the study and understanding of poetic forms. Turco presents an abundance of information that will enable the aspiring poet to look beyond craftsmanship. The book is loaded with examples of the artistic possibilities of poetry as sonic and visual as well as written.
This book helped me to become a published poet.  Jan 29, 2006
I simply cannot recommend this book highly enough. I ordered it in February of 2005, and it has been a wonderful tool ever since. But to start at the beginning: I had written poetry from a very early age, but had mostly written in common modern ballad form, and had never considered trying out the classical forms of the great poets of the past. I joined an online poetic community, and discovered that there are wonderful forms out there to use. I've often been frustrated by the proliferation of pulp "free verse," not the beautiful, thought-provoking stuff of say, Whitman, but very un-poetic ramblings displaying little or no talent. Well-written "free verse" is a treasure -- but the mediocre sort is nothing more than a trial for the reader. However -- badly written rhyme is even worse! Here, in the pages of Turco's Book of Forms, are exact instructions and excellent blue-prints for such flowing forms as the French ballade and ballade supreme, the rondeau, rondeau redoubled, the Welsh clogyrnach (a traditional bardic form), and many more which I have worked with myself with great success. So, whether you are an amateur poet just beginning to touch the waters of the literary world, whether you are beginning to see some success and want more resources, or even if you just want to read some good poety (there are wonderful examples of many of the forms within the pages), this book will make a fine edition to your library -- and I've no doubt that you will use it often, as I have.
Indispensable  Jan 19, 2006
If you are an English teacher in high school or college, or if you have any interest in writing poetry, you should not be without this book or one of its earlier editions. There is simply nowhere else on earth to find the wealth of information that is here. No other book on poetic form even tries to cover as much information as Turco does.

Some reviewers have complained that the book is hard to find information in, but I have had my edition for many years and have not found that to be the case. One reviewer complained about the quality of the original poems Turco uses to illustrate unusual forms (and did not pick up on the fact that Wesli Court is an anagram of Lewis Turco, so there are even more poems by Turco than it first appears), but keep in mind that those poems are there to illustrate the form, not to compete with Dryden or Swinburne. And they are VERY helpful--I would much rather have them there than not.

An absolutely indispensible book.
A book I---unfortunately--turn to often  May 8, 2004
Turco is clearly a man in lust of poetic forms and methods. How long he spent learning the art, compiling information on various meters, stanzas, rhyme schems, and the like, I can't say, but he's done a very thorough job. That he doesn't cover free verse is perfectly understandable as this is, indeed, a book of forms (but to dismiss it outright as poetry at all is part of Turco's trademark pretention). Unfortunately, for somebody writing a book subtitled "A Handbook of Poetics," Turco not only doesn't attempt to make this handbook easy to use, at times he seems to bend over backwards to cause as much frustration as possible.
Take, for instance, an example. Let's say you want to write a Spenserian stanza. Well, you go and check the index--there are four pages listed, but page 271 is in bold, so you turn there (be glad you weren't looking up shanty, which contains two listings, both in bold). Well, no such luck, instead we are told that the Spenserian stanza is discussed in the "section on Narrative Poetry." One can respect Turco's decision not to repeat information already stated, but to not even give a simple page number where an outline of the form can be found smacks of a pretentious "I already told you that" attitude. It won't take long to check the other three listings, but by then the annoyance has already set in.
The six-page specific form index, where poetic forms and stanzas are arranged according to the number of lines they contain would be quite helpful--if Turco provided page numbers here. Apparently because he put them in the misleading index there was no need to put them in a place where they would be easily accessible and more useful. An extra twenty minutes on Turco's part could have eased a lot of headaches.
This is a helpful book that would come in handy for any poet or prosody student. But after three editions and still being arranged in such a ridiculous matter, I can't hep but think that it's time a new Book of Forms written by somebody who is not Lewis Turco to be published.
lots of good information arranged in a Borges-ian labyrinth.  Nov 1, 2003
Lots of cross-referencing to dead-ends, not knowing which list you're in or which one you `want' to be in. You begin to wonder if you'll ever get a sense of how this guy's mind works, and indeed why you should have to. Commonsensical and conventional devices like separating topics on the page with a space or two (when sample poems are separated from the rest of the text), highlighting or printing topic headings in bold lettering, printing page numbers opposite listed topics which are covered elsewhere-they are not employed. You can't tell if what you're looking at is a topic or a subtopic of something else. Exhortations to buy and refer to Turco's other book pepper the discussions.

The author is idiosyncratic and standoffish; he is not awfully encouraging. The precision in terms turns to nitpicking. So under "Free Verse" we are told that free verse is a contradiction in terms. Since this was said in the introduction and since we're supposed to refer to the index before turning here, perhaps we should have read or should now re-read these very general topics. He might just as easily have given us as meaningful a discussion as could be given of whatever is generally taken to be free verse, even with all the necessary clarifications.

A tough editor could redeem some future edition.


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