Because for us “learning to read” is synonymous with “learning to read poetry,” we framed this issue of Genre with that one generic restriction. We invited our contributors to discuss the idea of “learning to read” with reference either to a critic who has or should have taught us about reading poems or to a poet or group of poets who involve us in their own reading. Given a common focus on poetry, these essays revisit the idea of lyric and its various attributes: individuality, originality, subjectivity, and feeling (especially in relation to tradition and convention). Our introduction focuses on the multiple lines of interconnection between the essays and the character of the story they tell together. Taken as a whole, the story about the fate of lyric poetry at the turn of the twentieth century is rich in the elements of romance: danger, conflict, rescue, hope, and love. In the broadest terms the imperiled object of this romance is the continued writing of poetry itself, a practice beset with dangers, according to these essays, from both within and without.

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Works Cited

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