National Poetry Month Round-Up

In case you missed it, April is National Poetry Month. Below is a round-up of some of the Foundation’s favorite things we’ve spotted so far during 2017’s National Poetry Month.

Poetry Basics

Let’s start at the beginning. What is poetry? We like the definition from… a website! Poetry.org:

Poetry (ancient Greek: ποιεω (poieo) = I create) is an art form in which human language is used for its aesthetic qualities in addition to, or instead of, its notional and semantic content. It consists largely of oral or literary works in which language is used in a manner that is felt by its user and audience to differ from ordinary prose.

Found on Poets.org is an article about How to Read a Poem. A very interesting read, for new and experienced poetry consumers. We like this highlight:

Getting Started: Prior Assumptions. Most readers make three false assumptions when addressing an unfamiliar poem. The first is assuming that they should understand what they encounter on the first reading, and if they don’t, that something is wrong with them or with the poem. The second is assuming that the poem is a kind of code, that each detail corresponds to one, and only one, thing, and unless they can crack this code, they’ve missed the point. The third is assuming that the poem can mean anything readers want it to mean.

Basically, give yourself a break when you approach poetry!

But what’s the point of poetry? We like this TED Talk from a couple of years ago by poetry critic Stephen Burt. He even breaks down a couple of poems for us!

Where to find poetry?

A page from MILK AND HONEY by Rupi Kaur

The Poetry Foundation has 43,654 poems available and searchable with a few quick clicks! You can even browse poetry by topic.

Or if you want to read the newest and best poetry, look for a list of 2017 poetry publications. We like this list from Bustle with 15 of the most anticipated poetry collections of 2017.

We get poetry recommendations everywhere! During our Barnes & Noble Bookfair Fundraiser on April 15 (during National Library Week!) we made a new friend who recommended MILK AND HONEY by Rupi Kaur. It is a beautiful, modern poetry book complemented by gorgeous, simple illustrations.

Not ready to read a poetry book? How about a movie about poetry or a poet? Poets.org put together a poetry movie list, with titles like THE BASKETBALL DIARIES, HOWL, SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, and FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL.

We hope you’ll take a few minutes (or hours, or days!) to explore all that poetry has to offer, before Poetry Month 2017 comes to a close!

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