Library Notes: April is National Poetry Month
Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 1, 2023
By Alesha Woods
Rowan Public Library
American poet Robert Frost once said, “Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and thought has found words.” Reading a poem, hearing a poet speak or writing your own poem can bring up a number of emotions. For what is poetry without emotion? As a person who feels they express themselves best in writing, I have always had an appreciation for poetry. When my spoken words fail to convey my thoughts and feelings, I write them down. That’s why National Poetry Month is important to me as both an emotional person and a writer.
National Poetry Month was established in April 1996 by the Academy of American Poets to celebrate poets who have played an integral role in our culture. It provides an opportunity for us to appreciate expression and creativity. Poetry has become the largest literary celebration in the world. From the classical epics of ancient Greece and Shakespearean tragedies to the “Poet Laureate of Punk” Patti Smith and presidential inaugural poet Amanda Gorman, poetry has been around us for centuries.
Library patrons looking to celebrate National Poetry Month or who are curious about poetry can stop by Rowan Public Library for a variety of poetic works written through the ages. At the library you will find materials containing poetry collections, books about poets and their writings, and resources to help you write poetry of your own. If you are craving classical poetry such as “The Odyssey of Homer” or works by William Shakespeare, then the library has you covered. If you are craving inspirational writings by poets of today, check out poets Amanda Gorman or Rupi Kaur. Amanda Gorman’s luminous poetry collection “Call Us What We Carry” captures a difficult moment in time and transforms it into a lyric of hope and healing. Rupi Kaur’s most recent book “Healing Through Words” presents guided poetry-writing exercises of her own design to help the reader explore themes of trauma, loss, heartache, love, family, healing and celebration of the self.
Another form of creative expression can be found through music. Poetry and music are so intertwined that even the earliest poems were often performed with a tune. As a musician, I find the rhythm and flow of poetry can provide a similar feeling to that of a song. For music lovers, RPL has books of poetry written by musicians. Fans of the 1960s band The Doors may enjoy “The Collected Works of Jim Morrison,” an anthology of the writings by the late poet and iconic front man. Fans of 1970s punk or ’80s rock may be interested in Patti Smith’s newest published work, “A Book of Days,” which gives a new way to experience the expansive mind of this visionary poet, writer and performer. Fans of multi-platinum singer/songwriter Halsey may enjoy her collection of poetry, “I Would Leave Me If I Could,” where she reveals never-before-seen poetry of longing, love and the nuances of bipolar disorder. Whether you wish to read it or write it, RPL has poetry for everyone!
There are many resources that can help spark fun and creative ideas to celebrate National Poetry Month. Whether you would like to celebrate at home or in the classroom, the library has just the thing for you. Stop by your nearest library branch or browse the online catalog to see what poetic works are on the shelves. If you prefer online materials, RPL’s online digital resource NC Digital Library is a great way to explore a multitude of ebooks and audiobooks written by poets. For ideas on how you can celebrate poets and poetry, visit https://poets.org/national-poetry-month. For assistance in locating physical or digital works of poetry, visit www.rowanpubliclibrary.org or call 980-432-8670.
Alesha Woods is communications associate for the Rowan Public Library.