The Flexible Lyric

Front Cover
University of Georgia Press, 1999 - Literary Criticism - 226 pages
1 Review
Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified

These nine eloquent and skillfully crafted essays by a distinguished poet examine the art of lyric poetry in all aspects of its design and structure. Through attentive readings of a variety of artists, including her contemporaries, Ellen Bryant Voigt celebrates the structure and elasticity of lyric poems. She argues for reading as a writer reads--with equal parts passion and analysis. Her analyses of the effects of tone, image, voice, and structure connect brilliant theory with tangible examples.

Intimate as well as informative, the collection begins with a discussion of the creative process and Voigt's fascination with the writing of Flannery O'Connor and Elizabeth Bishop. Readings of lyric poems by Shakespeare, Sidney, Poe, Stevens, Williams, Larkin, Bogan, Roethke, Plath, Levertov, Berryman, and others demonstrate the roles of gender, point of view, image, and music in poetry. An experienced teacher, Voigt focuses on the lyric but encourages, in any study of poetry, original thinking, attention to structure, and, above all, close reading of the work itself. An intelligent and thought-provoking marriage of art and scholarship, The Flexible Lyric exemplifies, with fierceness, dedication, and precision, how the making of poems is not just a trade but a calling.

What people are saying - Write a review

Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Hebephrene - LibraryThing

No one comes close to Bryant's analytic skills. This volume was less useful to me than Syntax because I write fiction more than poetry. One reader called her a pain the ass because of what she ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Bridge714 - LibraryThing

Dense but intense. Thorough and thoroughly a pain in my - erm, neck - because it's taking me a long time to get through it and make sure it sticks in my brain. Covers gender, life and writing, Modernists and the adjectives, and more. Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (1999)

Ellen Bryant Voigt has published seven collections of poetry, and is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. Messenger (2007) was awarded the Poets' Prize and was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for poetry. She is the founder of the first low-residency graduate program for writers and her honors include the O.B. Hardison, Jr. Award for Poetry and Teaching, grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation, and a Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund fellowship.

Bibliographic information