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April 19, 2011 > Alameda County Library News: Reconnect with the Masters during National Poetry Month

Alameda County Library News: Reconnect with the Masters during National Poetry Month

Poetry has the power to shine light on the darkest rooms hidden deep within the soul, to illumine time and place altering one's perception of worlds both interior and exterior forever. What better time to sample this power than during National Poetry Month. Started in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets, Poetry Month is celebrated by poets, poetry lovers, libraries, schools and students who join together to share their love of poetry. Here are the thoughts of a few poets:

Poetry is thoughts that breathe, and words that burn. -Thomas Gray

Poetry is life distilled. -Gwendolyn Brooks

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.
-Robert Frost

Poetry is all that is worth remembering in life. -William Hazlitt

How many of us still remember the poetry that we memorized while in school? To find out more about National Poetry Month visit, a really enjoyable site for poetry lovers.

This month in honor of National Poetry Month you will find poetry displays at Tri-City libraries located in Centerville, Fremont, Irvington, Newark, Niles, and Union City. Library offerings include a smorgasbord of poetic writings from Shakespeare to Hip Hop. You will find classic American poets as well as global editions from around the world in their original languages, or bilingual editions

How many of these favorite poems have you read?

Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman, "A Dream Within A Dream" by, Edgar Allan Poe, "There is another sky" by Emily Dickinson, "The Road Not Taken "by Robert Frost, "Chicago" by Carl Sandberg, "I, Too, Sing America" by Langston Hughes, "I carry your heart with me" by e.e.Cummings, "A Girl" by Ezra Pound, "Phenomenal Woman" by Maya Angelou, "The song of Despair" by Pablo Neruda.

Why not try a taste of the Beat poets like Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg or Lawrence Ferlinghetti. If you're still hungry, you can move on to contemporary poets including Philip Levine, Joseph Brodsky, Billy Collins, Nikki Giovanni, Gary Soto, and Elizabeth Alexander.

Travel across the Atlantic with classic British poets William Shakespeare, William Blake, William Wordsworth, John Keats, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Dylan Thomas, and W.B Yeats.

Discover the great lyrical Spanish language poets including Federico Garcia Lorca, Octavio Paz, Pablo Neruda, and Jorge Luis Borges, to name a few.

Chinese language poets include Li Po, Tu Fu, and Wang Wei. Some of the best of these are translated by Sam Hamill in the book Crossing The Yellow River: Three Hundred Poems from the Chinese.

Ancient Persia was famous for poetry and the poems of Hafez and Rumi are not to be missed.

Indian poets such as Rabindranath Tagore and modern era Dom Moraes


Filipino poets such as Sarah Gambito are also delightful to try.

For students of all ages who would like an online guide to help them understand poetry better click on Click on Research on the blue bar on the top of the page then on A to Z resources. Go to L and click on Lit Finder. Covering world literature and authors throughout history, LitFinder contains a wealth of literary works including over 150,000 full-text poems.

Another excellent online resource is available in the letter L. Click on Literature Resource Center where you'll find in-depth information on the lives and writings of 120,000 authors from all time periods along with critical reaction to their work.

There is also plenty of children's poetry in various languages. Some of the most popular poets writing for children include Shel Silverstein, (Where the Sidewalk Ends), Roald Dahl, (Candy Man) and Dr. Suess (The Cat in the Hat). Children love poems about fairies, dogs, baby animals, monsters, and mermaids.

Reading poetry aloud as a family activity is a wonderful way to encourage a lifelong love of reading and to help your children develop their imaginative and creative minds. Come to the library. Taste some poetry.

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