Poetry 101 by Susan Dalzell walks readers through the history of poetry and provides a crash course in understanding this form of expression and how it has evolved throughout time. What this book does so well is provide anyone interested in poetry with a way to grow their knowledge either as a lover of poetry, someone who is looking to understand it more, or who hopes to create their own poems. No matter how much you already know about poetry you will come away with something new by the end of Poetry 101.
Dalzell breaks down her book chronologically and provides details about various schools of poetry and how in many cases they influenced each other. Within each of these schools she provides the life history of a particular poet and the types of poems they created. As she does this Dalzell also provides excerpts of poems as well as example poems for future reading if you are particularly interested in a certain type of poetry or poet. There are also discussions of the layout of a variety of types of poems and the terminology that is connected to them. The end of the book focuses on more modern takes on poetry including rap and ways to push the boundaries of what is expected in writing.
While I had studied poetry in a handful of classes over the years I found Poetry 101 to be even more informative in many cases than some of the lectures I remember receiving. Dalzell is able to provide a great deal of information in a way that allows you to casually take it in while not feeling as though you are reading a textbook. I would strongly recommend this book not only to those who are interested in learning more about poetry, but also for anyone who will need to study poetry in school. Poetry 101 is perfectly written for any age reader and could tremendously help high school and college students learn and refresh their memories in more intensive English courses. You can find Poetry 101 on sale wherever books are sold.
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