There is no better way for you to learn about poetry and to understand its elements than with PERRINE'S SOUND AND SENSE: AN INTRODUCTION TO POETRY. As both an introduction to poetry and an anthology, this classic best-seller succinctly covers the basics of poetry with detailed chapters on the elements of poetry (denotation and connotation, imagery ...
There is no better way for you to learn about poetry and to understand its elements than with PERRINE'S SOUND AND SENSE: AN INTRODUCTION TO POETRY. As both an introduction to poetry and an anthology, this classic best-seller succinctly covers the basics of poetry with detailed chapters on the elements of poetry (denotation and connotation, imagery, figurative language, allusion, tone, rhythm and meter, pattern, etc.), unique materials on evaluating poetry, exemplary selections, and exercises and study questions that help readers understand each selection. Thomas R. Arp and Greg Johnson have assiduously continued the Perrine tradition over several recent editions. Every chapter introduction in this compact and concise anthology bears the mark of Laurence Perrine's crisp, clean, and descriptive prose, and every poem selected as an example is a perfect illustration of the concept at hand. Whether you are a beginner or a more experienced reader of poems, you can profit from this book's step-by-step method for understanding how a poem does what it does. Suggestions for writing help students to sort out their feelings and ideas, enabling them to assist others in sharing their experience.
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I have used the 11th edition (this is the 12th edition) for my AP Literature and Composition class for a few years now. Even though Perrine's text (including "Structure and Sense") tend to be pricey, they are well worth it. The chapter splits are geared at getting the reader to think about defining components of poetry (i.e. meter, tone, form, imagery, etc.). There is a great mixture of American, British, and World poets in this text from a variety of major literary eras. Each poem is accompanied with questions that require the reader to analyze the poem with depth.
There are really only a few shortcomings with this text: limited background information on each poem/poet, non-specification of poet origins (British poet).
Of course, adding such information would make Sound and Sense as large as a Norton Anthology. I don't think that is what Perrine's text aim to accomplish - they want to be practical while still doing justice to the art form.
That is exactly what this text does. Highly recommended for classroom use and for an independent study of poetry.
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