Part of the pleasure of poetry is unravelling the mysteries and difficulties it contains and solving the puzzles that lie within. Who, for instance, is Ozymandias? What is the Snark? Who is the Emperor of Ice-Cream? Or indeed, who is 'you' in a poem?
In this perceptive and playful new book, acclaimed poet John Fuller looks at some of our greatest poems and considers the number of individual puzzles at their heart, casting light on how we should approach these conundrums as readers. From riddling to double entendres, mysterious titles to red herrings, Fuller unpicks the puzzles in works that range from Browning to Bishop, Empson to Eliot, Shelley to Stevens, to help us reach the rewards and revelations that lie at the centre of some of our best-loved poems.
Fuller's book should encourage many to go off and puzzle out poems for themselves
John Fuller is both a well-published poet and a well-tested critic of contemporary poetry. This new book gets to grips with the essential puzzlement of poetry...It is not a densely theoretical book, but written engagingly and approachably
It leaps from peak to peak, fuelled by an immense amount of learning and experience
A witty, erudite and illuminating book, which encourages one to enjoy the puzzles and pleasures of poetry without fear
Intriguing and witty