'What is poetry, how many kinds of it are there, and what are their specific effects?' Aristotle's Poetics is the most influential book on poetry ever written. A founding text of European aesthetics and literary criticism, from it stems much of our modern understanding of the creation and impact of imaginative writing, including poetry, drama, and fiction. For Aristotle, the art of representation conveys universal truths which we can appreciate more easily than the lessons of history or philosophy. In his short treatise Aristotle discusses the origins of poetry and its early development, the nature of tragedy and plot, and offers practical advice to playwrights. This new translation by Anthony Kenny is accompanied by associated material from Plato and a range of responses from more modern literary practitioners: Sir Philip Sidney, P. B. Shelley, and Dorothy L. Sayers. The book includes a wide-ranging introduction and notes, making this the most accessible and attractive modern edition.