A Brief Preface
Part I The Language of Poetry
1. The Two Languages
2. Music3. The Inclinations of the Poetry Language4. The Poetry Base
Part II Writing and Reading Poetry
Part III An Anthology of Poems
Kenneth Koch is the author of many books of poetry, most recently Straits, and won the Bollingen Prize for Poetry in 1994. He has also published fiction and plays, as well as books on the teaching of poetry: Wishes, Lies and Dreams; Rose, Where Did You Get That Red?; and I Never Told Anybody. He lives in New York City, where he is professor of English at Columbia University.
Koch, a preeminent American poet and author of two best-selling books on teaching poetry to children, has at last produced a guide for adults. This book is divided into two parts: a series of essays on subjects such as meter, rhyme, and personification and an anthology of favorite poems. Most remarkably, non-English poems often appear with several translations, underscoring the flexibility of poetic language. Making Your Own Days will be most useful to writers already familiar with the basics. However, while some of the playfulness that marked Wishes, Lies and Dreams (HarperCollins, 1980) and Rose, Where Did You Get That Red? (Vintage, 1990) creeps in, the overall tone is that of a lecturer, and Koch covers the same ground as Kim Addonizio and Dorianne Laux's The Poet's Companion: A Guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetry (LJ 10/15/97), though in a less engaging manner.‘David Kirby, Florida State Univ., Tallahassee
Michael Dirda The Washington Post Book World Kenneth Koch is
one of our finest living poets....Making Your Own Days
David Lehman American Poetry Review A poet of the highest originality....[Koch] has stretched our ideas of what it is possible to do in poetry.
Frank Kermode I would recommend Koch's way of teaching poetry above all others. His book is informative, witty, and surprising. It's also authoritative...it is a precious defense of poetry.
Ned Rorem Koch is that rare phenomenon, the poet who can write prose -- prose that is necessary and lucid. In his book, he offers a new and healthy dimension to the life of virtually everyone.