The Puzzle of Poetry offers students a readable, reliable guide to understanding poetry. Instead of carving poems up into their elements, The Puzzle of Poetry describes how experienced readers of poems go about understanding them. Each line, sentence, or syntactical unit in a poem is a clue to the “puzzle.” As with crossword puzzles, figuring out the answer to one clue can help you figure out the answer to others. This book teaches the reader to check what they know in a poem against what else they know to find meaning, a systematic but creative approach that can help language to come alive.
Each chapter is a lively and personal discussion of an element of poetry, and a short guide to writing about poetry is included. Varied examples of poetry are provided throughout, from Anglo-Saxon verse to Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jay-Z.