Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A-Z Wednesday: The Sounds of Poetry by Robert Pinsky

Title: The Sounds of Poetry
Author: Robert Pinsky

ISBN-13: 9780374526176
Publisher: Farrar, Straux and Giroux/1998
Pages: 117

Robert Pinsky is an American poet, who teaches graduate writing programme at Boston University. Here in this book, he takes up poetry in the vocal form. He wants that we should know how to read out poetry loud, where should we pause and where to stop. He gives stress on diction, syntax, accent, verse poetry, metric poetry, free verse and blank verse.

He takes up numerous examples of poems by great poets, breaking the lines for us, teaching us the right intonations for each word, line and whole poem. He believes that poetry has to be vocal and should be peformed in order to comprehend it fully.

I am not saying that I understood it all at one go. This book is to be read very slowly, savoured in the way and should be followed the way he wants us to. He expects us to read aloud all kinds of poetry to understand those better. He says,"Poetry is a vocal, which is to say a bodily, art." This book can be read by those who are seriously into poetry and also those who are amateurs. To say, I liked it, is an understatement. This book is for keeps!


ds said...

I agree, Gautami, this book is a keeper! Pinsky shows how the sense is driven by the sound (and vice versa); he's clearly a fantastic teacher. Thanks for the great review.

Serena said...

I really think I should pick this up. I've always thought that poetry should be read aloud. I often always read poems aloud.

fredamans said...

I love poetry, so this is definitely one for me.

Bryan R. Terry said...

I've never read any of Pinsky's poetry. I probably should have (how one gets to a Masters program in Literature Studies and not read Pinsky is beyond me).

My S Book (as well as my N-R Books can be found HERE

Mystica said...

I dont think I understand poetry very well as its something that has to be absorbed slowly (for me that is). Thanks for this review. I really should go back to poetry now that I have more time on my hands (I loved poetry in high school).