Becoming Poetry: Poets and Their Methods (Paperback)
Winner of the Lewis P. Simpson AwardIn Becoming Poetry, Jay Rogoff closely inspects the work of two dozen poets, his forebears and his contemporaries, to reveal how their poetry achieves its impact upon readers. His essays, drawn from more than twenty years of literary criticism, explore how the staying power of a poet's work and the likelihood of its enjoying a lasting identification with its creator depend on the skilled manipulation of poetic technique. Considering how poetry can manifest a vividly conceived world of feeling and sensation, Rogoff maintains that we understand and evaluate poets by the sum of their most persuasive inventive strategies, including their attention to form. The poet, finally, constructs a uniquely imagined universe and thus, in the minds of readers, becomes the poetry. A model of practical criticism, intended for enthusiasts at all levels, Becoming Poetry demystifies how poetry operates on its audience to create a virtual, affective experience of lasting power and value.
Jay Rogoff has published seven books of poetry, including Loving in Truth: New and Selected Poems. His literary criticism has appeared in the Kenyon Review, Literary Imagination, the Southern Review, and many other journals. He lives in Saratoga Springs, New York.