The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry & Poetics


25 Points: The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry & Poetics, 4th Edition

poetryeticsThe Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry & Poetics, 4th Edition
ed. Roland Greene, Stephen Cushman, Clare Cavanagh, and Jahan Ramazani
Princeton University Press, 2012
1680 pages / $49.50 buy from Amazon or Powell’s








1. After graduating from college and while in the process of applying to MFA programs, I bought a copy of The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry & Poetics having come across it in the discount bins of a book retailer down at the local strip mall hell lost somewhere between the suburbs of New Jersey and the rest of Southern California.

2. This was the hardcover 3rd edition published in 1993—previous editions appeared in 1974 and 1963.

3. Out of a total 1100 articles, the new paperback 4th edition presents 250 “entirely new” entries.

4. The Encyclopedia is what’s commonly referred to as a desk reference, i.e., it’s handy to have round.

5. With my 3rd edition I set out to learn EVERYTHING about the reading and writing of poems.

6.  I’ve found this a daunting task. Nonetheless, my 3rd edition has been well used over the years.

7. It is a little geeky feeling—but nonetheless stimulating!—to pour over entries, allowing various elements of chance to guide where your floating interests and eyes may take you.

8. A Bibliomancy Tool: righteously applied in the proper MFA program deconditioning environment it just might save a young budding poet or two from the curse of professionalization. Or else it will studiously assist in that very further professionalization.

9. Five types of entries are included: “terms and concepts; genres and forms; periods, schools, and movements; the poetries of nations, regions, disciplines, and social practices such as linguistics, religion, and science.” These “are provisional, and many items could move among them.”

10. “A large number of entries are written by scholars of poetries other than English—a Hispanist on pastoral, a scholar of the French Renaissance on epidexis, a Persianist on panegyric.” READ MORE >

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December 17th, 2013 / 6:35 pm