April is (not) the cruelest: National Poetry Month
April 1 - 30, 2014
Curated by Allison Fischbach
“I, too, dislike it: there are things that are important beyond all this fiddle. Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it, one discovers in it after all, a place for the genuine.”
- “Poetry” by Marianne Moore
Welcome to April! Besides (hopefully) bringing a respite from an unceasing winter, this month is National Poetry Month, sponsored by the Academy of American Poets. To celebrate, the Decker Library is featuring an exhibition of classic and favorite poetic works as chosen by library staff.
Take the chance to read passages from some classic epic poems, including The Odyssey and Beowulf, translated by famed Irish poet Seamus Heaney. Or see if you can decipher selections from middle-English in Chaucer's The Wife of Bath's Tale, and feel free to recite some of Shakespeare's most famous sonnets.
Or if more modern works are your thing, take a look at classic selections from Allen Ginsberg, Sylvia Plath, Rita Dove, Billy Collins, and Mary Oliver. MICA faculty member Jennifer Wallace's works will also be on display, including her book It Can Be Solved By Walking and One Hundred Footsteps, a collection of poems with collages by Katherine Kavanaugh.
For the young at heart we are featuring a number of children's poems, including works by the ever-popular Shel Silverstein and Dr. Seuss, as well Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot - the basis for the Broadway musical "Cats".
Or perhaps you're looking for something more avant-garde. How about sampling selections of concrete poetry? Also called "shape poetry," the poets here use original typographical forms to enhance their work, including folding the text into pictures and abstract shapes.
There's a little bit of everything on display, no matter your tastes. This month take a moment or two to browse the selection of poetics on display - you might end up finding something 'genuine'!
"Poster poem" by Ian Hamilton Finlay from Concrete Poetry: A World View edited by Mary Ellen Solt, PN 6110 .C77 S6 1971 Stacks