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Poetry is all around us

by Jonathan Bloy on 2023-04-11T08:45:00-05:00 | 0 Comments

Display of poetry books and two poetry puzzlesfrom Andrew Holbrook, Graduate Assistant

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Maybe not quite yet, with last month's snow barely melted, but April is National Poetry Month and a good time to appreciate the poetry all around us.

In the library, there is poetry everywhere you look.

When you walk in the door, we have poetry on display. You may have read some of these books already. Or maybe you've heard of one and always wanted to read it. Or maybe you see something new that you pick up and flip to a random page. Check these books out – literally. There are lots more where they came from.

You can also play poetic puzzles and learn about two of the most famous kinds of poems. In the "haiku hash," mix and match words from the Japanese poet Bashō to create your own three-line verses.  In the "sonnet scramble," match wits with William Shakespeare and see if you can put his fourteen lines back in order. (Hint: The first one is at the start of this article.)

As you walk to your study room or go to print your assignment, you'll find poetry around every corner.

On the bulletin board, there's a poster from last week's Pop-Up Poetry event.

Poster for a Pop-Up Poetry event and the cover of a zine from a creative writing class.

Next to the computers, there's poetry by Edgewood students in the Advanced Creative Writing class's fall 2022 zine.

Near the Learning Lab, there's poetry by a famous Chinese leader, Jiang Zemin. His lines are written in calligraphy in the corner of a beautiful gold-foil painting: "Wintry river and snowy willows, jade trees and jade flowers / Jilin's icicle scenery is true to its name." The artwork was donated to Edgewood by the People's Government of Jilin City in northeastern China.

A framed gold-foil painting.

Outside our windows, we have trees of our own (though no longer snow-covered by the time you read this). Nature has been inspiring poets forever.

Trees with snow on the ground and a shelf of poetry books.

Upstairs, we have 2,722 books of and about poetry from all around the world. You can find many of them in the literature section, which starts – coincidentally enough – with the letter P.

Online, we offer 12,744 poetry e-resources. If you hacked the haiku hash, watch this half-hour Great Courses video to learn more about Japanese poetry or read a modern poet's take on the age-old tradition. If you scored on Shakespeare's sonnet, read the rest or read about them – or check out some subversive sonnets. If you type "poetry" into One Search, you'll find everything from ancient Greek lyrics to poems inspired by hip hop. See what catches your eye or your ear.

When you leave the library, you can take poetry with you. Get Poem-a-Day delivered directly to your device. Stream a poetry playlist to hear works read by the authors themselves. Browse the latest Poetry magazine.Write some poems of your own. Whatever you do, the late poet Mary Oliver reminds us to

Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.

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