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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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….