A Poet’s Bookshelf

Below is a list of books that I can pull off my book shelf when I have a question about poems and poetry. And when I need inspiration.  Every poet’s bookshelf is and should be an idiosyncratic affair. I recommend that you visit used bookstores looking for some of these. If you have any suggestions, I would love to learn about your favorites. I have placed asterisks (**) in front of those that I highly recommend as places to begin.

Allen, Donald, Ed. The New American Poetry. New York: Grove. 1960.

Bernstein, Charles. Content’s Dream: Essays 1975-1984. Los Angeles: Sun & Moon Press. 1986.

Bernstein, Charles. A Poetics. Cambridge: Harvard UP. 1992.

Berry, Wendell. Standing by Words. San Francisco: North Point. 1983.

Bly, Robert. American Poetry: Wildness and Domesticity. New York: Harper and Row. 1990.

Bly, Robert. The Eight Stages of Translation. Boston: Rowan Tree Press. 1983.

Bly, Robert. Leaping Poetry: An Idea with Poems and Translations. Boston: Beacon Press. 1975.

Brogan, T. V. F. English Versification, 1570-1980: A Reference Guide with a Global Appendix. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP. 1981.

Brogan, T. V. F. Verseform: A Comparative Bibliography. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP. 1898.

Burnshaw, Stanley. The Seamless Web: Language-Thinking, Creature-Knowledge, Art-Experience. New York: George Braziller. 1970.

**Cairdi, John. How Does a Poem Mean? Boston: Houghton Mifflin. 1959.

**Cummings, e e. i: six nonlectures. Cambridge: Harvard UP. 1953.

Davie, Donald. Purity of Diction in English Verse and Articulate Energy: An Inquiry into the Syntax of English Poetry. New York: Penguin. 1992.

Duncan, Robert. Fictive Certainties. New York: New Directions. 1985.

Duncan, Robert. Scales of the Marvelous. New York: New Directions, 1979.

**Drury, John. Creating Poetry. Cincinnati: Writer’s Digest Books. 1991.

Eliot. T.S. The Sacred Wood. London: University Paperbacks. 1960.

Fass, Ekbert, Ed. Towards a New American Poetics: Essays and Interviews. Santa Barbara: Black Sparrow Press.   1978.

Feirstein, Frederick. Expansive Poetry: Essays on the New Narrative and the New Formalism. Santa Cruz: Story Line Press. 1989.

**Finch, Annie, Ed. A Formal Feeling Comes: Poems in Form by Contemporary Women. Ashland, Oregon: Story Line Press. 1999.

**Gibbons, Reginald, Ed. The Poet’s Work: 29 Poets on the Origins and Practice of Their Art. Chicago: Chicago UP. 1979.

Gibbs, Raymond W. Jr. The Poetics of Mind: Figurative Thought, Language, and Understanding.   Cambridge: Cambridge UP. 1999.

**Giola, Dana. Can Poetry Matter?: Essays on Poetry and American Culture. Saint Paul: Graywolf. 1992.

Graves, Robert. The White Goddess: A Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth. Amended and Enlarged. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 1966.

Hall, Donald, Ed. Claims for Poetry. Ann Arbor: U Michigan P. 1982.

Hartman, Charles O. Free Verse: An Essay on Prosody. Evanston: Northwestern UP. 1980.

Heidegger, Martin. Poetry, Language, Thought. Tr. Albert Hofstadter. New York: Perennial Classics. 2001.

Hirsch, Edward. How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry. San Diego: Harcourt. 1999.

Hoagland, Tony. Real Sofistikashun: Essays on Poetry and Craft. Minneapolis: Graywolf. 2006.

**Hollander, John. Rhyme’s Reason: A Guide to English Verse. New Haven: Yale UP. 1981.

Hollander, John. Vision and Resonance: Two Senses of Poetic Form. 2nd ed. New Haven: Yale UP. 1985.

Hughes, Ted. Shakespeare and the Goddess of Complete Being. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux. 1992.

**Hughes, Ted. Winter Pollen: Occasional Prose. Ed. William Scammell. New York: Picador. 1995.

Jarman, Mark and David Mason, Eds. Rebel Angels: 25 Poets of the New Formalism. Brownsville, Oregon: Story Line Press. 1996.

Jarrell, Randall. Poetry and the Age. New York: Knopf. 1953.

Jarrell, Randall. A Sad Heart at the Supermarket. New York: Atheneum. 1962.

Jarrell, Randall. The Third Book of Criticism. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 1969.

Jaskoski, Helen. Poetry/Mind/Body. Lanham, Maryland: U P America. 1991.

**Jimenez, Juan Ramon. The Complete Perfectionist: A Poetics of Work. Ed. and Tr. Christopher Maurer. New York: Doubleday. 1997.

Kinzie, Mary. The Cure of Poetry in an Age of Prose: Moral Essays on the Poet’s Calling. Chicago: U Chicago P. 1993.

Kooser. Ted. The Poetry Home Repair Manual. Lincoln: Bison Books. 2007

**Lakoff, George and Mark Johnson. Metaphors We Live By. Chicago: U Chicago P. 1980.

Lewis, C. Day. The Poetic Image: The Creative Power of the Visual Word. Los Angeles: Jeremy P. Tarcher, Inc. 1984.

Lord, Alfred B.. The Singer of Tales. New York: Atheneum. 1976

Mallarne, Stephane. Selected Prose Poems, Essays, and Letters. Tr. Bradford Cook. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP. 1956.

**Mayes, Frances. The Discovery of Poetry: A Field Guide to Reading and Writing Poems. New York: Harcourt, Inc. 2001.

Oliver, Mary. A Poetry Handbook: A Prose Guide to Writing and Understanding Poetry. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. 1994.

Oliver. Mary. Rules for the Dance: A Handbook for Writing and Reading Metrical Verse. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. 1998.

Packard, William, Ed. The Craft of Poetry: Interviews from the New York Quarterly. New York: Doubleday. 1974.

**Paz, Octavio. The Bow and the Lyre: The Poem, The Poetic Revelation, Poetry and History. Tr. Ruth L. C. Simms. Austin: U Texas P. 1973

Paz, Octavio. The Other Voice: Essays on Modern Poetry. Tr. Helen Lane. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. 1990

Peacock, Molly. How to Read a Poem . . .and Start a Poetry Circle. New York: Riverhead Books. 1999.

Preminger, Alex and T. V. F. Brogan, Eds. The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics. Princeton: Princeton UP. 1993.

**Quinn, Arthur. Figures of Speech: 60 Ways to Turn a Phrase. New York: Routledge. 1995.

Rilke, Rainer Maria. Letters to a Young Poet. Tr. M.D. Herter Norton. New York: Norton. 1983

Roberts, Philip Davies. How Poetry Works. New York: Penguin Books. 1986.

Rosenthal, M.L. Poetry and the Common Life. New York: Schocken Books. 1983.

Rothenberg, Jerome and Pierre Joris, Eds. Poems for the Millennium: The University of California Book of Modern and Postmodern Poetry. Volume I: From Fin-de-Siecle to Negritude. Berkeley: U California P. 1995.

Rothenberg, Jerome and Pierre Joris, Eds. Poems for the Millennium: The University of California Book of Modern and Postmodern Poetry. Volume II: From Postwar to Millennium. Berkeley: U California P. 1998.

Rothenberg, Jerome, Ed. Revolution of the Word: A New Gathering of American Avant Garde Poetry, 1914-1945. New York: Seabury Press. 1974

Rothenberg, Jerome, Ed. Shaking the Pumpkin: Traditional Poetry of the Indian North Americas. New York: Doubleday. 1972.

Rothenberg, Jerome, Ed. Technicians of the Sacred: A Range of Poetries from Africa, America, Asia, Europe, & Oceania. 2nd edition. Berkeley: U California Press.1985.

**Rukeyser, Muriel. The Life of Poetry. Ashfield, Massachusetts: Paris Press. 1996.

Saintbury, George. Historical Manual of English Prosody. New York: Schocken Books. 1966. (first published in 1910.)

Sayers, Dorothy. The Mind of the Maker. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco. 1979.

Snyder, Gary. Earth House Hold. New York: New Directions. 1969.

Snyder, Gary. A Place in Space: Ethics, Aesthetics, and Watersheds. New and Selected Prose. Washington, D.C.: Counterpoint. 1995.

Snyder, Gary. The Practice of the Wild. New York: North Point. 1990.

Spender, Stephen. The Making of a Poem. New York: Norton. 1962.

Steele, Timothy. Missing Measures: Modern Poetry and the Revolt Against Meter. Fayetteville: U Arkansas Press. 1990.

Stevens. Wallace. The Necessary Angel: Essays on Reality and the Imagination. New York: Vintage. 1951.

Strand, Mark and Eavan Boland, Eds. The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms.   New York: Norton. 2000.

Todorov, Tzvetan. Introduction to Poetics. Tr. Richard Howard. Minneapolis: U Minnesota P. 1981

Turner, Frederick. The Culture of Hope: A New Birth of the Classical Spirit. New York: Free Press. 1995.

Turner, Frederick. Natural Classicism: Essays on Literature and Science. New York: Paragon House. 1985.

Valery, Paul. The Art of Poetry. Tr. Denise Folliot. New York: Pantheon.1958.

Waldman, Anne and Marilyn Webb, Eds. Talking Poetics from Naropa Institute: Annals of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. Volume 1. Boulder, Colorado: Shambala. 1978.

Waldman, Anne and Marilyn Webb, Eds. Talking Poetics from Naropa Institute: Annals of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. Volume 2. Boulder, Colorado: Shambala. 1979.

Winn, James Anderson. Unsuspected Eloquence: A History of the Relations between Poetry and Music. New Haven: Yale UP. 1981.

Wooldridge, Susan. Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words. New York: Broadway. 1997.

Zumthor, Paul. Oral Poetry: An Introduction. Tr. Kathryn Murphy-Judy. Minneapolis: U Minnesota P. 1990.



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About lymangrant

Lyman Grant is a professor of creative writing and humanities at Austin Community College. He has work at ACC since 1978. He is the author or editor of two textbooks, two books relating to Texas literature, three volumes and a chapbook of poetry. Recently he traveled the United States for a year in a 34-foot RV 5th wheel trailer with his wife and two younger sons.