A book for poetry lovers, The Poet’s Companion caters for aspiring writers who wish to improve their craft and understand the genre at an advanced level. Kim Addonizio and Dorianne Laux have taken great care in sectioning individual chapters that let the reader dissect verse and understand a poem’s mechanics. The novice or experienced poet is gently encouraged to experiment with rhythm and word choice and to proactively investigate what constitutes a successful piece.
The authors use clear language and a kind approach to be frank about publishing expectations. Discussion of themes should spark inspiration but, if the instructional chapters fail, the final third holds a series of exercises so that the preceding intricacies can be put into working practice.
I felt that stronger diversity amongst the referenced poets could have taken the learning further and given the book a more universal appeal. But as a writer who naturally gravitates toward poetry, The Poets Companion has deepened my grasp on verse and on what makes a successful poem.
Highly recommended to anyone who loves reading or writing poetry, or to those who are curious about the how’s and whys of its impact.