Poetry

  •  Poetry Books

    Are you one of those people who love poetry? Is iambic pentameter your native tongue and do you speak in couplets and sonnets? Splendid.

    But maybe, just maybe, poetry is a little intimidating to you? Or maybe you’ve just never had the time to get into it? If so, now is the time to learn to like or even love poetry and the Provo Library is the place to do it! Check out these awesome resources to start your poetic adventure!

    4.25 Poetry 101POETRY 101: FROM SHAKESPEARE AND RUPI KAUR TO IAMBI PENTAMETER AND BLANK VERSE, EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT POETRY
    By Susan Dalzell
    (2018)

    Do you aspire to like poetry, but just aren’t sure where to start? Well, search no further! This is short guide will give you the 411 on the most celebrated voices in poetic history and clue you in to some of the newest and brightest stars in the poetry universe. Poetry doesn’t have to be boring or intimidating. It is as natural as your heartbeat, as familiar as your footsteps.

     

    4.25 The Red WheelbarrowTHE RED WHEELBARROW AND OTHER POEMS 
    by William Carlos Williams
    (2018)

    This slim volume holds the very best poems of someone who could be seen as the “original” Instagram poet. Writing in the 1940s and 1950s, Williams was a doctor and sometimes only had a prescription pad to write his poetry on. If you are looking for classic poetry that is short, stunning, and delightful, check out this new edition of his poems.

     

    4.25 Fierce FairytalesFIERCE FAIRYTALES: POEMS & STORIES TO STIR YOUR SOUL 
    by Nikita Gill
    (2018)

    These poems aren’t just clever twists on fairytales. They are a celebration of the person reading the book, hopefully that will be you, yes you! The first poem  is an invocation of the importance of learning to love and to hold on to ourselves and to the final poem is a benediction thanking the readers of the world for holding the author when she was in pain, this book is more than just a fairytale gimmick. This is a book about us and what it means to be human.

     

    4.25 The Dark Between the StarsTHE DARK BETWEEN THE STARS: POEMS
    By Atticus
    (2018)

    Atticus began his poetry career on Instagram. After garnering 700K followers he was approached with a book deal. Known for his jaw-dropping one liners and epigraphic style, Atticus is ever relatable, ever real. This is his second collection of poetry where he focuses on the connections between the light and the dark and great happiness and deep sorrow.

     

    4.25 Milk and HoneyMILK AND HONEY
    By Rupi Kaur
    (2015)

    This book is all about the journey from injury to healing. I think one of the reasons Kaur has become so popular is that she is imminently accessible. She writes about things that we all feel in ways that we could never explain by ourselves.  Her poetry is brief, powerful, and beautiful.

     

    Since April is National Poetry Month, it's time to celebrate the richness of the human experience. It’s time to honor those who give words to our most powerful feelings. Whether you are in love with poetry or just trying it out for the first time, this is YOUR month!

  •  Robert Burns

    I’m only slightly embarrassed to say that my first exposure to Robert Burns came in 2003 from an episode of Lizzie McGuire. Ever since then, I’ve been interested in Bobbie Burns (as he’s called in his native Scotland) and in Burns Night, one of the more random celebrations you’re likely to learn about. Every January 25th, people all over the world (okay mostly in Scotland) celebrate the life of Robert Burns on Burns Night by hosting a Burns Supper where you eat Scottish food and act Scottish and celebrate Scotland (people in Scotland are clearly very into being Scottish).

    So, for those who don’t know, who was Robert Burns? And how can you celebrate your own Burns Night?

    Robert Burns, who lived from 1759-1796, is definitely the most famous Scottish poet of all time, and there is something so distinctly Scottish about his writing that he is often regarded as the national poet of Scotland. His poetry is famously written in the Scots language (so it’s a little hard to understand) but it also deals with themes that are important to the Scottish people—life, death, loyalty, country, agriculture, etc.

    For these reasons and others, people were eager to keep the Spirit of Robert Burns alive after he died—and so Burns Night came into existence. Burns’s fanboys are divided on exactly what Burns Night should be; for some it is a night of drinking and revelry, for others it is a somber academic endeavor. Some aspects, however, are non-negotiable.

    1.24 Classic Recipes from ScotlandCLASSIC RECIPES FROM SCOTLAND
    By Tom Bridge
    (2005)

    To properly celebrate the Great Robert Burns, you need to eat like him. Though haggis and blood pudding are traditional, you can probably get away with meat pies instead. 

     

    1.24 Because I Could Not Stop My BikeBECAUSE I COULD NOT STOP MY BIKE, AND OTHER POEMS
    By Karen Jo Shapiro
    (2003) 

    A key part of any good Burns Night is the reading of poetry inspired by, about, or even satirizing good ol’ Bobbie. This children’s book has goofy parodies written in the style of a lot of well-known poets including Burns. 

     

    1.24 WhiskeyWHISKEY
    By Michael Jackson
    (2005) 

    Most die-hard fans agree that Burns Night is not complete without scotch—and this definitive guide will tell you all you need to know about how to pick the best scotch, bourbon, or whiskey. Of course, if that isn’t quite your speed, this book is also a great novice guide to learn about how scotch is distilled. 

     

    1.24 The Complete Works of Robert BurnsTHE COMPLETE WORKS OF ROBERT BURNS: CONTAINING HIS POEMS, SONGS, AND CORRESPONDENCE
    By Robert Burns
    Edited by Allan Cunningham
    (1860) 

    Ultimately, and despite what people may say, the one thing you truly need to celebrate Burns Night is a reading of his poetry. Luckily, you can check out the Complete Works of Robert Burns with your Overdrive account so you can have them wherever you go. I’m personally partial to “To a Haggis” or the near-epic “Tam O’Shanter” because of how decidedly Scottish they are. 

     

    AULD LANG SYNE

    And of course, if you are unsure how to end your Burns Night, the traditional ending is with the singing of his most famous song – Auld Lang Syne. You can download lots of versions of this song for free from Freegal using your Provo City Library Card.

     
    Image from page 337 of "Hill's album of biography and art : containing portraits and pen-sketches of many persons who have been and are prominent as religionists, military heroes, inventors, financiers, scientists, explorers, writers, physicians, actors, via photopin (license)
  • Poetry

    How are you enjoying National Poetry Writing Month? If you're participating in #NaPoWriMo, it can be hard to decide what to write about, but we're here to help! Here are a few prompts to get you started this week.

    Day 8: Idioms and proverbs are fun because when someone unfamiliar with one asks us, “What does that mean?” we don’t know always how to respond. We just know, right? Find an idiom or proverb you love (or one that you don’t get) and write a poem around it.

    Day 9: Use these random words and write a poem: coil, useless, hulking, wistful, space.

    Day 10: Let’s try syllable work and create a Cinquain poem. The Cinquain is five lines long. The first line is comprised of 2 syllables, 4 in the second line, 6 in the third, 8 in the fourth, and 2 in the fifth. 

    Day 11: Write a poem relying on the senses of smell, taste, hearing, touch. Do not use sight at all in the poem but rather create an image with the other four senses. 

    Day 12: Find five things in your house that start with the same letter. Write a poem where they all appear.

    Day 13: Write a poem where your first initial is the first letter of each line in the first stanza, your middle initial is the first letter of each in the second stanza  (if you don’t have one, you get one less stanza!), and your last initial is the first letter of the last stanza. For extra credit, create a final line where you have a word starting with each letter to finish off.

    Day 14: Let’s practice repetition! Pick a letter in the alphabet and try to repeat the letter again and again in your poem.

    For more poetic inspiration, be sure to check out last week's post, and be on the lookout for more ideas the next two weeks. 

  • Poetry

    You're halfway done with NaPoWriMo! Hopefully the muses are still inspiring you, but we're also here to help. Why not check out a collection of poems like this anthology? Struggling with meter and rhythm? Maybe listening to poetry like the ones in this collection will be just the cure you need.

    Day 15: Halfway there! Today, pick two of the poems you’ve already written and try to combine them in some way. This could be taking the style of one and the theme of another or perhaps creating a metaphor that recognizes two ideas you have thought about.

    Day 16: Write about a time you had to say goodbye, whether to a person, to an ideal, or to a time of life.

    Day 17: Find a random piece of prose online. This could range from blog posts (you could take this one for instance) or a page from a story. Print it out and practice blackout poetry, which is where you blackout all the words except the ones you want to use to create a poem.

    Day 18: Embody one of your favorite book characters and how they would react to a situation in your life.

    Day 19: Go to an art exhibit (like perhaps one in The Attic at your local library), listen to a movie score, or participate in some form of art that isn’t literary. Write a poem inspired by that piece of art. 

    Day 20: Everyone has that weird pet peeve. Today, write a poem about yours.

    Day 21: Think about food. Eat some food. Write about food. 

    If you missed them, don't forget to check out the prompts from the first and second weeks of April, and be sure to watch for next week's edition!

  • Poetry

    Well, poets, you've nearly finished! With just nine days to go in NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month), here are a few prompts to guide you:

    Day 22: Take a favorite quote of yours (or at least a part of one) and make it the first and last line of the poem. Try to make the quote mean something different with each use.

    Day 23: Make a concrete poem or a visual poem where the poem visually looks like what its describing (for instance, George Herbert’s poem “The Altar” was built to look like an alter) 

    Day 24: Poetry. Math. Poetry and Math. Write a poem about math. Whether that makes something in math a metaphor for life or you find a poetry form that is mathematical (like Fibonacci Poetry), let’s try to be inspired by math today.

    Day 25: Look at the last photo you took on your phone. Give yourself only two minutes to write a poem that is inspired by that photo.

    Day 26: Write a poem where the title has a completely different tone or context than the actual content of the poem. (Example: The title “Summer Fun” and then the poem is about winter) 

    Day 27: Write a prose poem about a Greek myth that interests you. 

    Day 28: Who do you look up to? Write a poem that is also a letter to an important person in your life.

    Day 29: Write a poem that is only 10 words long.

    Day 30: Think about poetry and yourself as a poet. Address your reader and discuss what poetry means to you. 

    How did #NaPoWriMo go for you? Please share your creations with us!

  • Poetry

    Poetry. I understand that the mere word instils fear into the hearts of some. But I think there is a kind of poetry for everyone. So, this month I wish to celebrate the art of poetry. 

    As I believe that there is poetry for everyone to enjoy, I also think everyone should dabble in the writing of poetry. As part of National Poetry Month, there is a challenge to write a poem every day. I am going to participate in this challenge and encourage all of you to do the same!

    I have written 30 days worth of prompts so you don’t need to have any fear or crisis with lack of ideas. Also, hopefully these challenges are diverse enough that they give you practice in many different styles of poetry. As you work to complete this challenge, I encourage you not to worry about how “good” your poems are. Just write for the sake of creating something that only you could have written. If there’s one that you like or see potential in, come back to it later and make it something even more beautiful. If there’s one that makes your stomach cringe, just try again the next day. Ultimately this is about practice, not perfection.

    If you don’t like my prompts (or would like more) please visit napowrimo.net. They will be posting daily prompts throughout April.

    Day 1: April Fools Day! Write a nonsense poem, which is basically poetry that has no meaning and is whimsical and focused mainly on rhyme. (A great nonsense poet is Dr. Seuss)

    Day 2: Find a book (perhaps at your local library) and turn to page 35, pick a sentence, and write a poem with that sentence as inspiration.

    Day 3: Write an elegy or an ode to an odd object found around the house. (For example, I once wrote an ode to all the bobby-pins I’ve lost over the years)

    Day 4: What’s your least favorite kind of weather? Ok, now write a poem glorifying it with beautiful language. 

    Day 5: Take a drive or search online for a house that is unique. Whether it is cute or creepy, large or small, write a poem about that house and why it struck you. 

    Day 6: Did you know Dictionary.com has a word of the day? Look up the one for today and somehow integrate that word into your poem.

    Day 7: Love poems seem to all be the same these days. Take the idea of love (in any of its forms) and compare it to an unusual object. Start your poem with: “Love is” and insert your own word or phrase. (For example: “Love is a Lucky Charms cereal box”)  

    We'll share another week's worth of prompts next Monday. In the meantime, feel free to share your poetric creations with us!

  • bugs poetry

     

    There are a lot of books about bugs. There are a lot of books about poetry. But only the best are about both. These 5 children’s books are a unique way to learn interesting facts about insects while simultaneously enjoying the beauty of poetry. Learn about the different parts of a moth, what the praying mantis eats for lunch, or the genealogy of a cockroach. Young readers can easily vocalize these simple verses and will be transfixed by the photography and illustrations of our favorite creepy crawlers.

    insectlopediaINSECTLOPEDIA
    poems and paintings by Douglas Florian
    (1998)

    The poems in this book never contain more than a few words per line and often just one. Youthful and slightly abstract paintings by the author accompany each poem.

    unbeelievableUNBEELIEVABLES
    poems and paintings by Douglas Florian
    (2012)

    By the creator of INSECTLOPEDIA, simple poems are offset by brightly colored paintings in Florian’s signature style. As an added bonus, each poem is followed by an informative paragraph about that insect.

    bug offBUG OFF! CREEPY, CRAWLY POEMS
    by Jane Yolen, photographs by Jason Stemple
    (2012)

    Vibrant fullpage photographs rather than illustrations cover this volume. Like UNBEELIEVABLE, Yolen includes interesting facts about each bug after every poem.

    nastybugsNASTY BUGS
    Poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins, illustrated by Will Terry
    (2012)

    This book is covered in colorful, cartoony artwork by the talented Will Terry. His adorable artwork moves the reader through poems by a variety of authors. This volume includes an illustrated index in the back with information on each bug mentioned.

    facebugsFACE BUG  
    poems by J. Patrick Lewis, photographs by Frederic B. Siskind, illustrations by Kelly Murphy
    (2013)

    The poetry in this book was motivated by a series of photographs featuring the faces of bugs up close and personal. Each poem is accompanied by the seemingly alien photo that inspired it. As if that wasn’t cool enough, illustrator Kelly Murphy covers the rest of the page in black and white cartoons that take the reader on a comical journey. Like NASTY BUGS this book also includes a simple index with facts about each bug’s life cycle.

  • It's National Poetry Month, and we're celebrating with more recommendations of fantastic novels in verse!

    award winning childrens novels in verse 01

    Find them in the catalog: 

    THE CROSSOVER

    BROWN GIRL DREAMING

    INSIDE OUT & BACK AGAIN

  • April is National Poetry Month! If a collection of poems isn't really your thing, you can still enjoy the form with novels in verse! 

    historic novels in verse 01

    Find them in the catalog:

    CROSSING STONES

    OUT OF THE DUST

    WITNESS

  • poetry month

    This year marks the 20th anniversary of National Poetry Month: the time to raise awareness of and celebrate poets and their craft. If you enjoy poetry or would like to explore it for the first time, come to the Provo Library between April 4th - 16 to participate in our Book Spine Poetry program. All you have to do is gather several books and stack them to form a unique poem from the text on the spines. Show your creative assemblage at the reference desk and get a fun treat!

    If you would like to hear poetry or even participate by reading one, the BYU Harold B. Lee Library is hosting poetry readings each Wednesday in April in The Gallery on 5 @ 12:00 PM. For more information, visit their website

    Have you ever wanted to read poetry but don’t know where to start? Here are a few suggestions for anyone drawn to poetry but not familiar with the literary form:

    THE TROUBLE WITH POETRY AND OTHER POEMS by Billy Collins

    LOVE POEMS AND SONNETS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

    FALLING UP: POEMS AND DRAWINGS by Shel Silverstein

  • Read to Travel

    Hopefully you all aren’t tired of these random  vacation  posts yet! I have been talking about some of my favorite places to travel because of the books that are associated with them—or perhaps they have become some of my favorite books because of the places I have traveled…

    Either way, I have talked about Hannibal, Missouri; Rome, Italy; and London, England so far. Today I’m talking about another location that I had planned to visit for years, Concord, Massachusetts.

    3. Concord, Massachusetts, USA

    When I first went to Concord, Massachusetts, it felt like a dream come true! At that point I had just graduated from college with a Bachelor’s Degree in English (note: this means I had read a lot of American literature, and I do mean A LOT). I had studied so many wonderful American authors, and was surprised that so many authors that I loved lived and wrote in Concord—and all at the same time! In fact, one of my final papers for one class was all about how every English major that studied American literature had to eventually go and visit Concord. 

    My absolute favorite place to visit in Concord (and the main reason why I wanted to travel there) was to visit the home of Louisa May Alcott. I loved visiting the place where Alcott wrote LITTLE WOMEN. And now whenever I reread anything about the March sisters, I can’t help but think of Orchard House in Concord. Such a beautiful setting that feels like Jo March must be around the corner writing everything all down. 

    Orchard House

    My second favorite place to visit in Concord is Walden Pond. Yup. That Walden Pond. The one made famous by Henry David Thoreau and his book WALDEN. I loved going and hiking around the pond (not just looking at the little replica cabin that mimics Thoreau’s simple living quarters, though that was fun too). But to actually get away from the parking lot and to just feel the peacefulness of nature—it was a happy moment. 

    Another place that felt like I was stepping into a book was at the Ralph Waldo Emerson House. I studied so many Emerson essays (again, I was an English major) that I felt like going to his home was adding another layer to why Emerson wrote what he wrote. Then there is a trip to The Old Manse (where Emerson wrote his first draft of Nature and where Nathaniel Hawthorne—yes that Nathanial Hawthorne—lived). Plus there is also the idea that The Old Manse looks at the Old North Bridge, the bridge that was mentioned in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem, “Paul Revere’s Ride." 

    Man—who knew there was so much literature to “visit” when planning a vacation to Concord, Massachusetts? Well, my English professors did, which is why they inspired me to actually plan a trip out to the East Coast—just so I could take in all the settings of so many books I love. 

    I have two more spots left—favorites vacations where I traveled to because of the books I have read. Yup, these two places were solely vacations planned based on beloved books. Keep reading to find out where they are!