Brilliant Books Monthly Iconic Reads - Poetry


This edition of Iconic Reads focuses on poetry as a genre and is curated by Mike

"Poetry" is a very small word to describe such a large, diverse, and ancient artform.  It's a concept that is both universal and somehow almost impossible to define.  Readers, critics, scholars, and even poets themselves have been arguing about what poetry is for centuries—perhaps even millenia.  Poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge defined it as “the best words in the best order.”  Matthew Arnold, a 19th century essayist and poet, called it "a criticism of life," though Ezra Pound found that definition highly inaccurate, noting that “Poetry is about as much a ‘criticism of life’ as red-hot iron is a criticism of fire.”

Perhaps it was Emily Dickinson who best defined poetry, not by what it is, but by what it does.  In a letter to a friend, she wrote:

If I read a book [and] it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me I know that is poetry.  If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry.  These are the only ways I know it.  Is there any other way?

So rather than try to explain what poetry is, we hope this subscription allows you to experience it for yourself.  We've endeavored to include as many styles and subjects as possible, with work by poets from around the world, but it still presents only a tiny sliver of what poetry can be.  Whether you're a devoted poetry fan, or looking to broaden your literary horizons, we think there's something here that will surprise, delight, and leave you eager for more.


This subscription may include hardcover editions of some shorter poetry collections.


About Iconic Reads Subscriptions:

Brilliant Books Monthly Iconic Reads was created as an easy way for readers to give our flagship service a try. Iconic Reads selections receive the same careful curation as standard subscriptions, but we have narrowed down the scope to a specific area of interest. Each version is regularly updated, and new versions are released throughout the year. Whether you choose a deep dive into your favorite genre or a guided exploration of something new, you get the same expert service you've come to expect from Brilliant Books. Want to know more? Check out our FAQ page.


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