The Art Of series is a new line of books reinvigorating the practice of craft and criticism. Each book will be a brief, witty, and useful exploration of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry by a writer impassioned by a singular craft issue. The Art Of volumes will provide a series of sustained examinations of key but sometimes neglected aspects of creative writing by some of contemporary literature's finest practioners. Poetry is the sound of language organized in lines. James Longenbach opens this provocative book with that essential statement. Through a range of examples--from Shakespeare and Milton to Ashbery and Gluck--Longenbach describes the function of line in metered, rhymed, syllabic, and free-verse poetry. The Art of the Poetic Line is a vital new resource by one of America's most important critics and most engaging poets.