Beautiful & Pointless
A Guide to Modern PoetryBook - 2011
The poetry columnist for the New York Times Book Review offers an engaging exploration of modern-day poetry, encouraging the uninitiated to give verse a try and promising that, if they stick with it through the initial confusion, poetry can be a very beautiful thing. 35,000 first printing.
"David Orr is no starry-eyed cheerleader for contemporary poetry; Orr’s a critic, and a good one. . . . Beautiful & Pointless is a clear-eyed, opinionated, and idiosyncratic guide to a vibrant but endangered art form, essential reading for anyone who loves poetry, and also for those of us who mostly just admire it from afar." —Tom Perrotta
Award-winning New York Times Book Review poetry columnist David Orr delivers an engaging, amusing, and stimulating tour through the world of poetry. With echoes of Francine Prose’s Reading Like a Writer, Orr’s Beautiful & Pointless offers a smart and funny approach to appreciating an art form that many find difficult to embrace.
The poetry columnist for the "New York Times Book Review" offers an exploration of modern-day poetry, encouraging the uninitiated to give verse a try and promising that, if they stick with it through the initial confusion, poetry can be a very beautiful thing.
"David Orr provides a riveting tour of poetry as it actually exists today. Orr argues that readers should accept the foreignness of poetry in the way that they accept the strangeness of any place to which they haven't traveled--they should expect a little confusion, at least at first. Yet in the same way that we can, over time, learn to appreciate the idiosyncratic delights of, for instance, Belgium, we can learn to be comfortable with the odd pleasures of poetry by taking our time and pursuing what we like. Reading poetry, Orr suggests, is more a matter of building a relationship than proceeding systematically through a checklist. Beautiful & Pointless provides the foundation for such a relationship by examining the things poets and poetry readers talkabout when they discuss poetry, such as why poetry seems especially personal and what it means to write "in form." Orr, by turns acerbic, incisive, hilarious, and keen, is what every reader hopes for: that perfect guide who points the way, doesn't talk too much, and helps you see what you might have missed. Stimulating, amusing, and utterly engrossing, Beautiful & Pointless allows us to see how an individual reader engages poetry, so that we may feel better equipped to appreciate it in our own way."--Book jacket.