Cover image for Dictionary of poetic terms
Dictionary of poetic terms
Myers, Jack, 1941-2009.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Denton, Tex. : University of North Texas Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
xvi, 434 pages ; 23 cm
General Note:
Updated ed. of: Longman dictionary and handbook of poetry / Jack Myers, Michael Simms. c1985.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN1042 .M93 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Reference

On Order



Formerly The Longman Dictionary of Poetic Terms , this newly updated version contains over 1,600 entries on the devices, techniques, history, theory, and terminology of poetry from the Classical period to the present. To bring it up-to-date, the authors have added fifty new entries and examples. The Dictionary of Poetic Terms is compact enough for classroom use, but thorough enough to be the definitive reference handbook for poets and scholars, and the many writers who are both.

Author Notes

Jack Myers (Poet Laureate 2003 of Texas) was director of the creative writing program at Southern Methodist University and also teaches in the Vermont College MFA Program in Writing. One of his numerous poetry books, As Long As You're Happy , was selected for the National Poetry Series by Seamus Heaney.

Don C. Wukasch, M.D., lives in Houston, where he practiced medicine for twenty-five years. He holds an MFA from Vermont College and has published poems in many journals.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

From the beginning of time, human beings have sought to express themselves in a way that will build lasting connections from generation to generation-an effort in which poetry, with its combination of rhythm and words, has played a special role. For this revised and expanded version of The Longman Dictionary of Poetic Terms (1989), award-winning poets Myers and Wukasch have collected more than 1600 entries, 50 completely new, on the theories, techniques, and terminology of poetry. These entries range from the basic architecture and rhythm of poetic types ("Anglo-Saxon Verse," "Limerick") to the in-depth use of poetic voice for lasting effect ("Obsessive Image," "Zeugma"). The authors have certainly done their homework, having researched poetry down to the very roots of the human need for expression. Particularly useful is the plethora of samples from the works of such greats as James Joyce, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Ezra Pound, and Ogden Nash. Although some of the vocabulary is lofty, the definitions, fascinating history, and brief essays combine to form a useful handbook. Of the three appendixes included, the "Topical Bibliography" is by far the most helpful. Highly recommended for upper-level academic libraries, as well as for serious students and instructors of poetry.-Kim Harris, Rochester P.L., NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

This book is an updated edition of Myers and Michael Simms's Longman Dictionary and Handbook of Poetry (1985)--although the latter is nowhere acknowledged. Like the earlier edition, it supplies comprehensive definitions of terms useful to poets and students of poetry. New to this edition are specific examples for more obscure terms. It also includes longer essays on terms such as "cinematic techniques," "cliche," and "meter." Although one can argue whether "cinematic techniques" deserves this much attention with reference to poetry, the discussion is interesting. One of the book's aims is to serve as a catalyst for writing, and amateur poets (of whom the reviewer is one) can personally testify that the authors have achieved their goal. Useful to libraries that support MFA programs or students of literature. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. All collections. M. E. Miller-Lamb Long Island University