4 out of 4 stars
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Making Sense of Poetry, by Rex W. Last, is a non-fiction book that seeks to help its reader come to grips with all the richness and complexities of poetry as well as provide the reader with the tools to grapple with the difficulties and fascinating challenges that poetry presents. First published in 1984, this is a second edition that has been largely rewritten and updated to contain a great deal of additional material.
The author starts off by answering questions about the relevance of poetry and the need to study them. He then outlines what he calls "the 12 commandments." These commandments are a guide to show the step by step process in the interpretation of poems. They are explained over twelve chapters. The author also includes exercises on poem interpretation for the reader and provides the solution to these exercises.
When I picked up this book, I had doubts about whether I would understand what was going to be talked about as it involved poetry, which is a topic I usually find difficult to comprehend. While I read the book, I had all my doubts about understanding poetry cleared, as the author broke down his message using a very simple and coherent language. I also liked that I had no distractions in the form of grammatical or typographical errors while I was reading, as the editing team did a flawless job.
I found this book to be very educative not only because it sought to interpret poetry but also because I was exposed to several words that I had not come across before. My vocabulary was widened as a result. I was also pleased that the author included the origin of some words and showed how their meanings evolved with time. For example, ‘pretty’ tended to mean ‘cunning’ in the 14th century. Then it changed to signify ‘good-looking.’
I liked that the author, understanding how boring poetry could be at times, adds humor to his explanations at regular intervals. This is an effective way of teaching, as it made me appreciate what he tried to explain faster. It also made me feel refreshed while I read, as I had some good laughs. Furthermore, I liked that the author included exercises on the interpretation of poems and their solutions to enable readers to test themselves having gained the knowledge that the book sought to teach.
There was nothing to dislike about this book, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. The author structured his message very well and executed it with perfection. As a result, I rate Making Sense of Poetry by Rex W. Last 4 out of 4 stars. I recommend this book for people who are interested in Poetry.
Making Sense of Poetry
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