Like Poetry: A Survivor’s Guide, this companion is only one of many possible companions that could be assembled. In other words, this companion is inceptive and illustrative, not prescriptive and exhaustive. As with the guide, you can begin with any section you like; though, the best way to approach the online material is first to read or re-read the section from the guide.
For READING, you will find a handful of poems for each section that illustrate or demonstrate said section–or sometimes provoke debate about it. For example, in Narrative some of the poems feature conventional beginning-middle-end stories while others feature stories within stories or stories that resist linear thinking. Note, too, that while we have placed poems under specific topics, this doesn’t preclude these poems’ other features. Most poems don’t have just one “use” or aspect worth studying; but in our categorization we wanted to highlight certain salient features of the selected poems. Under some topics, we also include links to essays, websites, and other relevant information.