Home » Reading » Breakdown: R. T. Smith’s “O Body Swayed to Music”

Breakdown: R. T. Smith’s “O Body Swayed to Music”

“O Body Swayed to Music” by R. T. Smith is a four-part review-essay on twenty classic and contemporary texts on poetry and poetics. I’m posting this, so I don’t have to can remember the URLs of each part and what texts he discusses where.

Part 1
Understanding Poetry (Brooks & Warren)
How Does a Poem Mean? (Ciardi & Williams)
The Triggering Town: Lectures and Essays on Poetry and Writing (Richard Hugo)
Rhyme’s Reason: A Guide to English Verse (John Hollander)
Poetic Meter and Poetic Form (Paul Fussell)

Part 2 (“Old Dogs, New Tricks”)
Making Our Own Days: The Pleasures of Reading and Writing Poetry (Kenneth Koch)
A Poetry Handbook (Mary Oliver)
Rules for the Dance: A Handbook for Writing and Reading Metrical Verse (Mary Oliver)
The Art of Writing: Lu Chi’s Wen Fu (Sam Hamill, tr.)
The Poet’s Companion: A Guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetry (Addonizio & Laux)
The New Book of Forms: A Handbook of Poetics (Lewis Turco)

Part 3 (“O Body Swayed to Muses”)
Writing Poems (Peter Sansom)
Poet’s Guide: How to Publish and Perform Your Work
(Michael Bugeja)
The Art and Craft of Poetry (Michael Bugeja)
The Sounds of Poetry: A Brief Guide (Robert Pinsky)
The Poem’s Heartbeat: A Manual of Prosody
(Alfred Corn)

Part 4 (“In Our Uncertainties”)
The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics (Preminger & Brogan)
Patterns of Poetry: An Encyclopedia of Forms (Miller Williams)
The Structure of Verse: Modern Essays on Prosody (Harvey Seymour Gross, ed.)
Writing Poems (Wallace & Boisseau)

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