Except for an early obsession with e.e. cummings, I know nothing about poetry. Can anyone recommend a good book to jumpstart my poetry literacy?
The Language Instinct
is an introduction to linguistics/cognitive science, The Selfish Gene
is an introduction to evolutionary biology, and Understanding Comics
is an introduction to, uh, comics. Is there a book like this, except for poetry?
I'm not very interested in books about how to write
poetry, or how to appreciate it, or books that contain a large amount of good poetry. I'm interested in books that talk about history, criticism and theory—ways of thinking about and understanding poetry. (Something like this site
, recently posted to the blue
, would be ideal, except I need something printed with ink on dead trees so I can read it on the subway.)
I'm not afraid of the technical and academic, but the more accessible the better.
(My background is in linguistics and computer science and I want to be Mikhail Bakhtin when I grow up, if that helps any.)