Students of literature are not sure of expositions of critical principle or examples of critical practice. However, the books of theory tend to be both abstruse and remote from literary appreciation, while books of practical criticism rarely spell out the principles which underpin them. Originally published in 1982, this book attempts to bridge the gap between the theory and practice of criticism. The bulk of the book consists of practical critiques of poems of various kinds from various periods that illustrate a variety of critical methods. The author does not simply try to match each poem with one method, but rather to show how a whole range of distinguishable methods are applicable to most poems, though in very different degrees. This is a clear and stimulating textbook, aimed at educating the literary sensibility. After studying this book, the reader should be able to approach the assessment of any work of creative literature with greater confidence and competence.