How to Read a Poem, by Terry Eagleton

I thought this book would be good to read since I knew very little about poetry; in many ways I still do, but I think I've been made more aware of the nature of poetry itself.

One might think this would be a rather simple book - I did, not knowing that Eagleton is a literary theorist and critic of some stature. The book is actually about modern literary theory applied to poetry, and is pretty densely packed. Given what I now know of Eagleton, it's not surprising that there's a fair dollop of politics too. This seems reasonable if one believes as he seems to, that all culture is political and all politics is cultural. Now and again his Marxist-Christian colours show through rather vividly, and this is no bad thing.

The book, for all it's intellectual heft, is very well-written and has a wonderfully discursive, conversational lilt to it. It was a real pleasure to read, and I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in enriching their reading experience.

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