I am beyond excited that my anthology Measure for Measure: An Anthology of Poetic Meters, edited with Alexandra Oliver, is now out in the Everymans Library series from Random House. This book has been a twenty-year project of mine that has gone through two previous aborted coeditorships, and I’m so glad that Alexandra Oliver finally came along and helped me make it real. The idea seems so simple: a collection of poems organized by meter, so that you can read it (hopefully aloud) and get to know each rhythm first-hand! It is a testimony to how far our poetry world has left rhythm behind that such a book hasn’t been put together long ago already.
But it’s here now. It’s a beautiful little book, wonderfully priced at under $12, with the trademark satin ribbon (in a gorgeous cerulean color) bound in, and my introductions to each section included. I even love the cover (there’s a long story behind that, which I’ll go into another time).
I’m tickled that the book is getting such great attention. Reviewers have been really enthusiastic, e.g. “this comprehensive and joyous celebration of metered verse brings together some of the best rhythmic lines in literature.” One of the only criticisms I’ve heard is that there aren’t resources to point readers towards further examples of some of the more obscure meters. That one really made me laugh! I guess I did such a great job making it seem as if the full spectrum of meter is making a comeback that these readers didn’t realize how had it was to come up with poems written in the more obscure meters. If there are a few too many poems by myself, my students, and my friends in some of the sections, that’s why! So I hope this book will not only inspire readers to look for more poems in these delicious obscure meters, but also inspire poets to satisfy that demand!