Posts Tagged ‘Emily Dickinson’

Hedy promotes poetry and reviews “Leading from Within”

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

As many Library patrons and my colleagues know, I love poetry!  I always try to have some poetic display or program for National Poetry Month in April.  At every staff meeting I attend, I share a poem.  If there’s room on bibliographies I create, I add a poem.  It’s the frosting on the cake, the cherry on the sundae, so to speak.  For many years, St. Ambrose University English Professor Bea Jacobson has led discussions of Emily Dickinson’s poetry sometime during the month of her birth (December) and death (May) because there is an Emily Dickinson Garden on the Library grounds and because Dickinson is an icon of American poetry beloved the world over by all age groups.  If you’ve interest, join us this year at 7 p.m. on Wednesday May 11 for a discussion of Dickinson’s poetry on war.  She wrote many of her 1000+ poems during the American Civil War.  If you want to read the poems we’ll be discussing ahead of time, hardcopy texts are available at the Library or I can email or mail them to you.  Contact me at or 563-344-5705.

“Leading from Within: Poetry That Sustains the Courage to Lead” edited by Sam M. Intrator and Megan Scribner 808.819 LE

A poet is a person who “lets drop a line that gets remembered in the morning.”–E.B. White

As many Library patrons and my colleagues know, I love poetry!  This is a book I gave my husband as a gift and then I read it aloud to him one poem a day till we finished.  One of the things I really like about this book is that dozens of “leaders” chose a poem which meant something to them and told the reader why.  These are poems that inspired these leaders in some way–intellectually, emotionally, spiritually.  Maybe one of them will do the same for you!

What I found gratifying was that so many of my favorite poets were cited: Naomi Shihab Nye, T.S. Eliot, Wendell Berry, Mary Oliver, Pablo Neruda, and (of course) Emily Dickinson…  And the final chapter included intriguing and potentially useful sections like “Finding Poems That Matter”, “Using Poems as Companions”, “Waking Yourself Up with a Poem”, “Using Poems as Talismans”…

In honor of the current season, here’s a section from Mary Oliver’s “Spring Azures”:

In spring the blue azures bow down / at the edges of shallow puddles / to drink the black rain water. / Then they rise and float away into the fields. // Sometimes the great bones of my life feel so heavy, / and all the tricks my body knows– / the opposable thumbs, the kneecaps, / and the mind clicking and clicking– // don’t seem enough to carry me through this world / and I think how I would like // to have wings– / blue ones– / ribbons of flame….

Emily Dickinson Poetry Discussion, Wednesday, December 8, 7:00 p.m.

Monday, December 6th, 2010

In celebration of the 180th anniversary of Emily Dickinson’s birth, St. Ambrose University Professor of English Bea Jacobson will lead a discussion of poems with the theme “vision”.  If the weather’s not inclement, we will meet briefly in the Emily Dickinson Garden behind the Library right at 7 p.m.   After reading a suitable poem, we will retire to the Malmros Conference Room for light refreshments and conviviality.  Copies of the poems are available at the Library or can be e-mailed by contacting Hedy Hustedde at  They will be available the night of the discussion as well.

Emily Dickinson Poetry Discussion May 13, 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

From Hedy:This drawing of Dickinson is by my daughter, Kat.

Ever since planting the Emily Dickinson Garden at the Library, we’ve delighted in hosting St. Ambrose University English professor Bea Jacobson who leads a discussion of Dickinson’s poetry twice a year.  The discussions are held in May (Dickinson died May 15th) and December (Dickinson was born December 10th).  We usually have a theme.  This year it’s Death and Dying in commemoration of the 124th anniversary of Dickinson’s death and as a remembrance of Memorial Day later in the month.  We’ll start in the Garden, just to bask in its ambience, and then retire to the Program Room where we’ll enjoy ice tea, herb scones, and grapes provided by Dewey’s Cafe. 

 We’ll read and informally discuss as many of the following poems as we’ve time for: I never lost as much but twice; Safe in their Alabaster Chambers; They dropped like Flakes; I died for Beauty–but was scarce; I heard a Fly buzz–when I died; Because I could not stop for Death; A Death blow is a Life blow to Some; The Bustle in a House; Death is the supple Suitor; Could that sweet Darkness where they dwell; My life closed twice before its close.  The texts can be found in compilations of Dickinson’s poetry or on a handout available at the Library in hardcopy.  We can also mail or email you a copy if you call us at 344-4179 or email