In this classic text, the distinguished poet and critic John Hollander surveys the schemes, patterns, and forms of English verse, illustrating each variation with an original and witty self-descriptive example. In new essays for this revised edition, J. D. McClatchy and Richard Wilbur each offer a personal take on why Rhymes’s Reason has played an integral role in the education of young poets and student scholars.
“[Hollander] put everything he knew about the structures of poetry—those fabled magic tricks—into a sort of guidebook for those starting out on the trail up Mount Parnassus. . . . There are astonishments on every page.”—from the Foreword by J. D. McClatchy
“This book’s wit and inventive spirit, its self-describing embodiments of form, now offer the beginning poet a happy chance to discover the technician in himself.”—from the Afterword by Richard Wilbur
“How lucky the young poet who discovers this wisest and most light-hearted of manuals.”—James Merrill
“What the E. B. White–William Strunk The Elements of Style is to the writing of prose, Rhyme’s Reason could very easily become to the writing of verse. . . . Marvellously comprehensive, clarifying and useful, [and] a delight to read.”—John Reardon, Los Angeles Times Review of Books
“A virtuoso performance and a mandatory text for poetry readers and practitioners alike.”—ALA Booklist