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James Fenton's An Introduction to English Poetry offers a master class for both the reader and writer of poetry. Simply and elegantly written and discussing the work of poets as wide ranging as W. H. Auden, Dylan Thomas, Tennyson, Kipling, Milton and Blake, it covers all varieties of poetic practice in English. 'It is hard to imagine a beginner who could not learn from [this book]. If you know a young poet, give them this' The Times Literary Supplement
Authored by a team of experienced scholars and teachers and aimed at non-native students of English literature, An Introduction to Poetry in English approaches its subject from multiple angles. First the book explores in five opening chapters the musical qualities of poetic language (metre, rhythm and rhyme), poetic form (both fixed and free), the links between poetry and orality, and the transmutations of a poetic theme. Then, a selection of poems provides examples of these poetic features as well as texts for further study. Finally, eleven commentaries on works by poets from William Shakespeare to Benjamin Zephaniah demonstrate how to apply the concepts explained in the book through close readings of individuel poems.
Providing a guide to the poetry of the first half of this century, the author discusses the general condition of poetry and then the work of all of the major poets. Some of his subjects include Gerard Manley Hopkins, Yeats, Edward Thomas and D.H. Lawrence, Eliot, Auden, Spender, MacNeice, Dylan Thomas and other poets of the 1930s and 1940s, Muir, Graves, and poetry of the 1950s and 1960s.

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