English Versification: For The Use Of Students (1891) by Parsons, James Challis (1833–1897)
"This little book is intended to take its place as one of a series for the study of the English Language, for pupils in our higher institutions of learning. There seems no good reason why the young men and women in our schools should be more thoroughly and intimately acquainted with the phonetics, the grammar, the rhetoric, and the prosody of the classical languages, than with those of their vernacular. But, unfortunately, this is too often the case, notwithstanding the constant multiplication of text-books upon the English language." (Preface)
Elements And Science Of English Versification (1897) by Jones, William Caswell (1848–1915)
"IT IS the desire of the author to create a greater love for poetry. I do not think it is possible to make great poets any more than it is possible to create great musicians, sculptors, artists, or orators. All must be born with the spark of genius inherent within the soul. I believe, however, that even those possessed of great genius may profit by the research of others, and frequently are induced to follow their art by suggestions and rules pointed out to them. To such who possess real genius from a poetic standpoint this work may be of benefit. Another class to be benefited are readers who love
poetry and make a study of it, and yet fail to receive the benefits or see the beauties of true poetry simply because they fail to understand the technique." (Preface)
The Musical Basis Of Verse: A Scientific Study Of The Principles Of Poetic Composition (1901) by Dabney, Julia Parker (1850–????)
"I WAS led to the inception of this work by my recognition of the need—a need felt grievously in my own studies, but even more in the attempt to direct those of others—of a working hypothesis of the Science of Verse which should be at once rational, coherent, and simple—such a working
hypothesis as every music student has at his right hand.
The purpose of this book being analytic, and not synthetic ; dealing with the mechanism of verse rather than with its meaning—though the two are not wholly separable—I must be exonerated from any intention of trenching upon the realm of literary criticism, except as incidental to the exposition and development of the logical lines of my subject.
In this treatise upon the "Musical Basis of Verse" I have endeavoured to state, rationally, coherently, and simply, what seem to me to be the principles of verse-technique, these principles being, finally, purely a matter of vibration." (Preface)
Orthometry: The Art Of Versification And The Technicalities Of Poetry (1908) by Brewer, Robert Frederick (????–????)
"THE chief aim of this book is to instruct. Those for whose use it is primarily designed, form that large and increasing number of the youth of both sexes, whose cultivated taste leads them to the study of our poets, and often, by original verse-making, to their imitation.
Although numerous works on Versification have been published of late years, the subject is treated in them, for the most part, in fragmentary fashion, rather than as a complete whole. Canons are laid down without adequate illustration, and generally with no discussion of principles. Other works, again, are too scholarly for general use, and are, in some cases, devoted to the elaboration of a pet theory. No one work, as far as I am aware, has yet been issued which embraces full and accurate information respecting the technicalities of poetry and verse-making, such as the student requires ; and to obtain which he has hitherto had to search through a number of separate authors.
In the preparation of this book, to impart sound and useful knowledge has been the aim rather than to parade originality, and therefore I have not scrupled, in some cases, to avail myself of the views, and even the expressions, of previous writers on the subject, whenever they seemed best suited to the purpose. Clear and simple exposition, logical arrangement, and copious illustration have been used throughout, while the student's interest in
the subject is stimulated and increased by the intrinsic beauty of the selected examples." (Preface)
The Elements Of English Versification (1910) by Bright, James Wilson (1852–1926) & Miller, Raymond Durbin (1875–????)
"In the preparation of this text-book the immediate needs of the student have been kept in mind. Nothing has been assumed on his part, except a mind disposed to learn the plain truth of elementary facts." (Preface)
A Study On Versification (1911) by Matthews, Brander (1852–1929)
"This is the simple text-book for the beginner that I have undertaken in the present volume. It is a text-book of metrical rhetoric. Its aim is to explain to the inquirer the technic of verse-making and to show him how the poets have been able to achieve their effects. It sets forth what I believe to be the fundamental principle of the art, that all poetry is to be said or sung, and that its appeal is to the ear and not to the eye. This principle is here asserted, unhesitatingly ; and from it all the practices of modern English versification are here derived. No other principle is even discussed, and all controversy has been rigorously eschewed. The student will not be confused by any attempt to refute any other theory; and his time will not be wasted by the confutation of any code long ago disestablished.
The main object of this book is to provide the student with an understanding of the mechanism of verse, that he may have a richer appreciation of poetry. The metrical mastery of Chaucer and of Milton, of Pope and of Tennyson, will be more keenly relished by the lover of poetry when he has attained to an insight into the methods whereby this mastery was achieved." (Prefatory Note)
The Art Of Verse Making (1915) by Jordan, Modeste Hannis (????–????)
Ideal for novice readers
The Technic Of Versification (1916) by Odling, William (1829–1921)
Writing The Popular Song (1916) by Wickes, Edward Michael (1877–????)
"The author's aim in writing this book is to sweep aside any erroneous impressions that the reader may hold relative to the writing of popular songs; to point out to the beginner the numerous ways by which he is likely to handicap his work; to offer him helpful suggestions; to make him acquainted with the methods adopted by successful writers, and to show him how to approach the work in order to obtain the best results." (Author's Preface)
The Art Of Versification (1920, Revised Edition) by Esenwein, Joseph Berg (1867–1946) & Roberts, Mary Eleanor (1867–????)
"This little treatise does not aim to create poets—Heaven must do that; but it does seek to furnish those who have poetic inspirations with the knowledge of how to master the forms of expression. Poetry is first a gift, then an art—both the gift and the art demand cultivation." (Foreword)
Studies On Versification (Part 2)
Suggest and discuss books to read (all languages welcome!)
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