Second Edition

In this updated textbook designed both for the classroom and for individuals, readers will learn how to write poetry in all the major forms, from blank verse and quatrains to sonnets and villanelles.  Each chapter provides step-by-step instruction that's accessible and easy to understand for even the beginning poet.

This book inludes unique features difficult to find anywhere else:

  • Essential but non-intimidating instruction on meter and rhyme
  • Focused assignments detailing how to make your first attempt at a specific form
  • Illuminating discussions on pop culture, figures of speech, difficult themes, and other important topics
  • An engaging overview of poetry's history and why it's important to learn the traditional forms

Complementing the instruction are many classic and contemporary poems, including recent work by Richard Wilbur, Wendy Cope, X.J. Kennedy, Dana Gioia, Rachel Hadas, Wyatt Prunty, Alicia Stallings, and many others.

With an encouraging voice and a systematic, building-block approach, Writing Metrical Poetry is perfect for the person working alone or in the classroom.

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William Baer, a Guggenheim fellow, is the author of twenty books, including five collections of poetry, most recently “Bocage” and Other Sonnets (recipient of the X.J. Kennedy Poetry Prize).  His other books include Luís de Camões: Selected Sonnets;The Ballad Rode into Town; and The Unfortunates (recipient of the T.S. Eliot Award).  A former Fulbright (Portugal) and the recipient of a N.E.A. Creative Writing Fellowship, he’s a graduate of Rutgers, N.Y.U., South Carolina, the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins, and the U.S.C. School of Cinema.  He was also the founding editor of The Formalist (1990-2004) and the founding director of both the Richard Wilbur Poetry Series and the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Competition.