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  • By Dana Gioia

What Is Poetry? 10 Observations About the Art by Dana Gioia

This video is the first in a series of introductory talks on the art of poetry. They explore how to read, study, and enjoy poetry. The most ancient art, poetry emerged before writing as a form of song--speech shaped for music effect. It uses every means by which language communicates to create a particular meaning and effect. By studying poetry you'll understand how to use the full power and range of language. Poetry also reminds us that the physical sound and rhythm of words are parts of their meaning. The form a statement takes becomes part of its meaning. In this video I make 10 observations about poetry formed over a lifetime of reading and writing it.

Dana Gioia is the author of several poetry collections, including 99 Poems: New & Selected (Graywolf Press, 2016); Interrogations at Noon (Graywolf Press, 2001), winner of the American Book Award; The Gods of Winter (Graywolf Press, 1991); and Daily Horoscope (Graywolf Press, 1986).

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