Eavan Boland (1944-2020) was the author of more than a dozen volumes of poetry, including Outside History and several volumes of nonfiction, and was coeditor of the anthology The Making of Poem. Born in Dublin, Ireland, she was one of the foremost female voices in Irish literature. She received a Lannan Foundation Award and an American Ireland Fund Literary Award, among other honors. She taught at Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, Bowdoin College, and Stanford University, where she was the director of the creative writing program. Mark Strand (1934-2014) won the Pulitzer Prize for Blizzard of One and was Poet Laureate of the United States.
If example is the best teacher, than students new to traditional poetic forms can learn much from this collection of villanelles, sestinas, sonnets, elegies, pastorals, ballads, pantoums, odes, and other familiar structures that have shaped English poetry since Beowulf. Each chapter focuses on a single form, but explanatory material is kept to a minimum: a concise list of formal characteristics, a summary history, a short discussion of the form's contemporary context, and a brief "close up" on an individual poem. Most useful are the selections themselves, which illustrate how particular forms have been employed over time, from canonical classics by Chaucer, Shelley, and Elizabeth Bishop through newer pieces by Hayden Carruth, Michael Palmer, and Thylias Moss. The concluding section on open forms seems somewhat uncertain and conservative, barely straying from much of what precedes it, but that's to be expected given the tastes of the editors, each of whom provides a lively and personal introductory essay that young poets should find quite instructive.DFred Muratori, Cornell Univ. Lib. Ithaca, NY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
"A generous and exquisitely selective anthology of poetry forms
that may make you decide to give up E-mail and start writing
sestinas and villanelles." -- Francine Prose - Elle
"A marvelous new anthology... intended for readers daunted by terminology and complex poetic forms." -- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"This is the book writers and readers, teachers and students, have been dreaming of-canny, generous, and practical, Boland and Strand are ideal guides through the golden labyrinth of poetry at its most ingenious and commanding. A marvelous collection!" -- J.D. McClatchy
"Much more poetry than commentary appears, making the book both a splendid classroom text and, since the selections are top-drawer poems by first-rate poets, a book any poetry lover or would-be poetry lover may learn from and love." -- Booklist