How Poems Get Made

James Longenbach
Published in 2018
by Norton

“Nobody rereads Keats’s ode ‘To Autumn’ to be reminded that in September leaves turn colors and fall from the trees; even if we know the poem by heart, we savor our experience of the poem’s language as it unfolds in time, luring us forward.” In How Poems Get Made, James Longenbach offers a practical guide to writing poetry, providing examples from a range of poets—Blake, Crane, Donne, Dickinson, Moore, Shakespeare—while also dissecting the elements that bring readers back to the same poems over and over again. Each chapter examines an element or quality, such as diction, syntax, figures, and rhythms, showing in detail how a poem gets made.