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Form The Other Blog

The “Level Four Poetry Manifesto”



In the Spring issue of the Museletter, The Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets newsletter, Lester Smith, the WFOP President, writes about how William Roetzheim selected poems for the Giant Book of Poetry.

To back up a minute, I’d like to say that I sure wish I’d seen these criteria first but since this blog is my on-line poetry scrapbook, I want to make note of them here so I don’t forget them. They are good.

Okay. William Roetzheim is the editor of the Giant Book of Poetry, which was published in 2006. In the introduction, he writes that to understand what makes a poem good, and thus understand the criteria for including a poem in the anthology, we must turn to his “Level Four Poetry Manifesto.”

Poetry, according to Roetzheim, operates on four levels. On Level One, the poem must communicate on the denotative level, or on a direct…

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