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The Poem : Lyric, Sign, Metre

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Faber & Faber

Publisher notes

*The Poem* attempts to answer several questions: what *is* a poem? In what way is its use of language distinct? What conditions allow it to arise, and what is its cultural purpose? And how, exactly, do poems *work*? Part polemic, part technical treatise and part meditation, *The Poem* is an ambitious contemporary ars poetica. Paterson looks at the writing, transmission and reading of poetry with wit and scholarly flair, drawing together literary analysis, linguistics, metaphysics, psychology and cognitive science in a thorough exploration of how and why poems are composed.
*The Poem* takes the form of three long essays. 'Lyric' attends to the music and sound patterns of poetry, and the way in which they work to deepen poetic sense; 'Sign' develops a new theory of metaphor, metonym and symbol, and looks at how ideas of 'meaning' change under poetic conditions; 'Metre' addresses poetry's relationship to time and to the rhythms of speech, then builds a theory of prosody from the ground up, proposing some radical correctives to existing metrical theory along the way.
Through his various professional guises - as major prize-winning poet, as Professor of Poetry at the University of St Andrews and as Poetry Editor at Picador Macmillan - few are better placed to grant this insider's perspective. For all those intrigued by the inner workings of the art form and its fundamental secrets, *The Poem* will challenge, intrigue and surprise.




Faber & Faber



Paperback / softback




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