Poetry celebrated in month-long tradition

By Carol Dwyer
April 18, 2012

The Holy Spirit Library displays diverse poetry books to celebrate poetry month.

Spring is a romantic time of year as many flower blossoms come into sight throughout our natural surroundings.  Adding to the romance of spring is the celebration of writing in poetic form, with April deemed National Poetry Month.  Poetry is not just romantic in terms of love but also in the sense that it relays passionate messages the poet believes in and wants to share.

According to the Poets website, the tradition of celebrating the creative work of poetry began in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets.  In written and spoken form, poetry is personal not only to the author but to its audience members who find something in it to which they connect.

The Holy Spirit Library is taking part in the celebration of poetry by displaying culturally diverse poetry books.  The library’s collection has works by British, Irish, American, Uruguayan and Latino writers.   This follows the history of National Poetry Month, as it was an idea that grew on the heels of two other famous month-long celebrations, Black History Month and Women’s History Month, according to the poets website.

As students head into the stairwell to the library’s second floor, they’ll find more than books of poetry on display. There are also books on the crafts of poetry and writing to strengthen budding talent.  Look closely at the library’s displays; the notecards placed among its poetry books add encouragement to the pursuit of interest in poetic works.

“There have been some people taking pictures of the books on display,” Lawral Wornek, systems librarian, said.  “Hopefully, they’ll check them out later.”

The Poets website provides a great deal of useful information to those with a love of poetry, whether written or spoken.  Check out their section entitled “30 Ways to Celebrate” as well as the listing of “This Year’s Programs” to further indulge in and appreciate great poetic works.

Finding a local poetry-related event via the Poets website is another simple way to join in the literary celebration.  Under “Poetry Near You,” lovers of poetic works will see “Poetry Map” which then points to a listing of all 50 states.  A wealth of information pertaining to poetry and a given state is then shown.

The Poetry Foundation website includes a bookmarking feature that allows users to store their favorite poetry.

“‘Spring and Fall’ by Gerard Manley Hopkins,” Jen Hasse, reference librarian, said.  “That’s a favorite that comes to mind.”  The poem is brief and can be read in full on Poem Hunter, a website which suggests other poets whose works readers may also enjoy.

The collection of poetry books at the Holy Spirit Library has works by many well-known poets.  These include Alfred Lord Tennyson, Sylvia Plath, T.S. Eliot, Walt Whitman, Hart Crane and more.  For those who further seek reading poetry in the spirit of celebrating this literary form, Christian Science Monitor lists its top four bestsellers.

Feeling inspired by the celebration of National Poetry Month?  Newcomers and future writers alike will find that there is a wealth of resources for honing their talents.  Along with celebrating poetry, the month of April also includes a National Library Week to bring interest to reading.  Throughout the month, the campus community holds a variety of events to celebrate literary work.


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Carol Dwyer

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