Michael Bugeja teaches ethics and journalism at Ohio University and is a widely published poet. The Art and Craft of Poetry is intended as a resource for those who want to write and publish their own poetry, though it can also be used informally as aguide to analyzing and understanding the poetry of others.
Each chapter is concise and easy to navigate, with plenty of headings throughout. There are three main sections to the book: part one describes the main genres, part two concerns the elements of poems (meter, rhyme scheme, etc.), and part three dicusses the main poetical forms (sonnets, lyric poems, and so on). The author uses hundreds of poems to illustrate each topic so readers are not left with a merely theoretical knowledge. There are also exercises to help write your own poetry.
Bugeja approaches his subject with the knowledge of an expert and the zeal of an enthusiast. This isn't just a manual for writing poetry, it's an introduction to poetry itself. Neither is it condescending: the auhtor assumes he is addressing adults (though upper high school students will also benefit). In the introduction it seems like Bugeja's approach may be too cut-and-dry, "this is the way you do poetry and no other" but his execution is much more gentle and instructive.
The Art and Craft of Poetry is overall a good introduction, especially for those with no prior experience either writing or studying poetry (though many self-proclaimed "poets" could also stand to take some of his advice).
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here
Did you find this review helpful?