Timothy Steele’s previous collections of poetry include The Color Wheel and Sapphics and Uncertainties: Poems 1970–1986. He has also published two widely discussed works of literary criticism, Missing Measures: Modern Poetry and the Revolt against Meter and All the Fun’s in How You Say a Thing: An Explanation of Meter and Versification. He is a professor of English at California State University, Los Angeles. For more information, visit his website.
Listed in: Poetry · Literary Criticism · American Literature · Literary Studies
Since the appearance of Timothy Steele’s first collection of poems in 1979, growing numbers of readers and critics have recognized him as one of the best and most significant poets of his generation. Widely credited with anticipating and encouraging the revival of poetry in traditional form, Steele has produced a body of work praised for its technical accomplishment, its intellectual breadth, and its emotional energy.
“Timothy Steele’s poetry exemplifies the order that he praises, but ultimately it is both the charity and the clarity of his vision that are most remarkable.”
In 1967, Yvor Winters wrote of Helen Pinkerton, “she is a master of poetic style and of her material. No poet in English writes with more authority.” Unfortunately, in 1967 mastery of poetic style was not, by and large, considered a virtue, and Pinkerton's finely crafted poems were neglected in favor of more improvisational and flashier talents.
“Her poetry, in form and in content, is both traditional and original. In the best sense of the word, it is poetic.”
John Baxter, Sequoia
Perfect for the general reader of poetry, students and teachers of literature, and aspiring poets, All the Fun's in How You Say a Thing is a lively and comprehensive study of versification by one of our best contemporary practitioners of traditional poetic forms.
“Steele himself says that a formally experienced poet would not require a book on meter to learn his trade. That is surely true; yet I can testify, as one who has been writing in meter for over fifty years, that Steele's book has been delightful and instructive reading for me.”
The lifework in verse of one of the century's finest and liveliest American poets, this collection of the poems of J. V. Cunningham (1911-85) documents the poet's development from his early days as an experimental modernist during the Depression to his emergence as the master of the classical “plain style”—distinguished by its wit, feeling, and subtlety.