How to read a poem
In this witty, accessible book, Terry Eagleton argues that the art of reading poetry is as much in danger of becoming extinct as thatching or clog dancing.
On the whole, students today are not taught how to be sensitive to language - how to read a poem with due attention to its tone, mood, pitch, pace, rhythm and texture, rather than just to 'what it says'.
To demonstrate how this works in practice, the author takes a wide range of poems from the Renaissance to the present day and submits them to brilliantly illuminating close analysis.
As one of the world's leading literary theorists, Eagleton also summons the aid of such pioneering critics as the Russian Formalists to raise some provocative general questions: What is poetry, and how does it differ from prose?
Is there a language peculiar to poetry? What exactly do we mean by imagery? Lucid, entertaining and full of insight, "How To Read A Poem" is designed to banish the intimidation that too often attends the subject of poetry, and in doing so to bring it into the personal possession of the students and the general reader.