Brush Up Your Poetry! is both a lively primer and a fascinating
look at how our language evolved, by focusing on well-known words and
phrases coined in a rich selection of all poems great and small (as
Coleridge would have put it). Readers will savor the familiar and
classically poetic--like Elizabeth Barrett Browning's "How do I love
thee? Let me count the ways" and John Donne's "Do not ask for whom the
bell tolls"--but they will also discover the myriad well-known phrases
that you would never expect to come from poems, such as Chaucer's "In
one ear and out the other" and Longfellow's "Into each life some rain
You won't have to know an anapest from a dactyl to appreciate the power
of verse that has inspired generations; Michael Macrone places all the
memorable phrases and lines in context, and concisely conveys the heart
and mind of each poet. And there are surprises as well--many phrases
coined in poems have taken on completely different meanings with time,
and some lines don't go quite as elegantly as we remember them--Robert
Frost's famous road was "the one less traveled by." It will be enough
to make lovers of poetry and novices alike "trip the light fantastic"
Michael Macrone, Ph.D., is the author of seven previous books on language and literature, including the national bestseller Brush Up Your Shakespeare! He lives in San Francisco, where he writes, designs, and performs with the "acid folk" band Dreamland.
This is one of the most wonderful books I've ever read and it was of a great value while I was studying at the University.