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THE POETRY HOME REPAIR MANUAL – “Best Book on Poetry Ever Written”

April 3, 2012


The Poetry Home Repair 
Manual

by Ted Kooser

University of Nebraska Press

168 pages, 2005, $19.95

Imagine being in a new city and stopping someone to ask directions. No problem. Unless you ask a Seven Day Adventist who tries to sell you redemption instead or a chamber of commerce guy who wants to point out all the traditional landmarks or maybe it’s someone who doesn’t speak English. The place you are in is poetry and Ted Kooser tells you what you need to know in plain language with clear examples to make sure you don’t get lost.

This is the best book on poetry ever written. And Kooser puts the emphasis right where it belongs, on the reader of what you write. It unintentionally  answers bigger questions too, like why write it and what makes one metaphor more appropriate than another, but I have read this book (“for beginning poets”???) at least five times and each is an experience in seeing my work get better.

As to why we read or write poems—what we need to learn? He says:

There are those who think poets are more sensitive than other people, more keenly aware of the world, but most of the poets I now are just as oblivious to what’s happening around them as is the rest of the population. Henry James advised writers, “Be one of those on whom nothing is lost.” That’s what you need to teach yourself.

Buddha couldn’t have said it better!

To purchase this book directly from Amazon for $8.52, click the title below: The Poetry Home Repair Manual: Practical Advice for Beginning Poets

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