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How a Poem Moves

A Field Guide for Readers of Poetry
Written by: Adam Sol
Narrated by: Adam Sol, Soraya Peerbaye
Length: 5 hrs and 22 mins
5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A collection of playfully elucidating essays to help reluctant poetry audiences become well-versed in verse

Developed from Adam Sol’s popular blog, How a Poem Moves is a collection of 35 short essays that walks listeners through an array of contemporary poems. Sol is a dynamic teacher, and in these essays, he has captured the humor and engaging intelligence for which he is known in the classroom. With a breezy style, Sol delivers essays that are perfect for a quick listen or to be grouped together as a curriculum. 

Though How a Poem Moves is not a textbook, it demonstrates poetry’s range and pleasures through encounters with individual poems that span traditions, techniques, and ambitions. This illuminating book is for those who are afraid they “don’t get” poetry but who believe that, with a welcoming guide, they might conquer their fear and cultivate a new appreciation.

©2019 Adam Sol (P)2019 ECW Press

What the critics say

“It provides a gateway for some of us to discover a new pleasure, and others of us to take a closer look at the poetry we love.” (Toronto Star)

“Adam Sol approaches poetry with a unique sensitivity; one that illustrates with exceptional clarity and insight, just how a poem moves.” (Scott Griffin, founder of the Griffin Poetry Prize) 

“This unassuming book provides a great public service - it removes the shroud of mystery that hovers between too many readers and the world of poetry . . . Sol deserves to be read widely and freely; his humble witness to the simple art of reading may be this book's most important gift. Libraries should have multiple copies.” (Library Journal, starred review) 

What listeners say about How a Poem Moves

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Everything I expected and more

The only thing wrong with this audiobook is that some of the readings would doubtless be aided if we were able to actually see the poem and its structure on the page.

Beyond that, which is largely a quibble for most of these poems, the audio book is fantastic. Peerbaye's reading of each poem gives them a certain somberness befitting them, and Adam Sol's brief 'essays' (they're far more fun to read and listen to than most essays) are insightful and not hung up on what most tend to associate with 'poetry.' This is a book to better teach one to appreciate poetry as one might appreciate art - immediately eschewing a hunt for 'meaning' to instead provide the reader with a set of skills and new lenses through which to view all poems.

This is definitely a must have for anyone who loves poetry, wishes to learn how to love poetry, or wants to impart their love of poetry onto others: this book might just give you the insight on how to do that.

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  • Deborah Garcia
  • 2019-11-12

Entertaining, Educational, and Thoughtful

I loved this Audiobook and hope to find another book, equally good, along this vein. Mr. Sol presents 35 poems which were carefully assembled across a wide spectrum of themes and styles. The author then points out ways in which the selections use word choices, rhythms, and internal movement. Of course he analyzes what’s there, but he also uses the word ‘delight’ in explaining what he hears, and wishes for us to hear. This made the audiobook especially engaging. I liked his voice. The only reason I ranked performance as a “4” is that I found the female reader’s voice a bit less strong and clear than I would have liked. It’s so subjective, but there we have it. By the way, I found myself going back and listening to the poems again once I had heard the commentary. I suspect that this is what the author hoped. Enlightening and well as delightful. P.S. I just posted this review, and noticed it is listed with three stars. I can’t seem to correct this, but I give this book FIVE stars. I genuinely enjoyed.

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