Poetry Primer

The Imitation in Writing series is designed to teach aspiring writers the art and discipline of crafting delightful prose. Poetry Primer was created to provide introductory instruction and practice before the student begins The Grammar of Poetry by the same author, Matt Whitling.

Starting with a lesson designed to debunk the notion that poetry is only flowery snippets that appeal to girls, the student is challenged to take the time to investigate what poetry really is and to determine to enjoy it. To make this challenge more palatable, a poetic quote from Master Samwise of Lord of the Rings fame is given. Poetry is defined as a language of pictures and music. To illustrate the diversity of poetic language, riddles are scattered throughout the student pages. Remarkably thorough but not overwhelming for an introductory book, the seventeen lessons include such poetic devices as simile, rhyme, metaphor, personification, and inclusion, combined with a more lengthy look at meter particularly iamb and trochee. Lessons are varied, including both analysis and original composition. I would expect the lessons to take about 30 to 45 minutes to complete. It could be used either as a quarter's study (two lessons per week) or over the course of a semester (one lesson per week). A final exam is provided.

The Teacher Edition contains exact copies of the student book with answers. Annoyingly, the page numbers between the two books do not correspond. The Student Book also includes an anthology of poetry designed to capture the interest of even the most reluctant poetry student. Although no instructions are given for the use of the selections from this anthology, it wouldn't take much planning or creativity to incorporate its use as part of this study or as continuing exposure to poetry selections. ~ Janice

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