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Poets and Poetry

This guide identifies resources for learning more about poets and poetry.

This guide provides information and resources related to poets and poetry. 

Learn more about poets and poetry

"Poetry is writing that formulates a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience in language chosen and arranged to create a specific emotional response through meaning, sound and rhythm." (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).

poetry word cloud

What is a poet?

In Lyrical Ballads, Wordsworth puts a question to himself:  What is a poet?  Then he replies:  "He is a man speaking to men; a man endowed with more lively sensibility, more enthusiasm and tenderness, who has a greater knowledge of human nature, and a more comprehensive soul, than are supposed to be common among mankind".  Poetry humanizes mankind. "Poetry’s object is truth, not individual and local, but general and universal.  Poetry is the breath and finer spirit of all knowledge; the objects of the poet's thoughts are everywhere covering the vast empire of human society.  As a result, the reader of poetry must necessarily be in some degree enlightened, and his affections strengthened.  Poetry is the first and last of all knowledge - it is as immortal as the heart of man."

Wordsworth poetry quote with poet's likeness

Source: Lyrical Ballads (1798-1800)


April is National Poetry Month!

A poem by Naomi Shihab Nye

Next Time Ask More Questions (1952)

Before jumping, remember
the span of time is long and gracious.

No one perches dangerously on any cliff
till you reply. Is there a pouch of rain

desperately thirsty people wait to drink from
when you say yes or no? I don’t think so.

Hold that thought. Hold everything.
When they say “crucial”—well, maybe for them?

Hold your horses and your minutes and
your Hong Kong dollar coins in your pocket,

you are not a corner or a critical turning page.
Wait. I’ll think about it.

This pressure you share is a misplaced hinge, a fantasy.
I am exactly where I wanted to be.

Related LibGuides

St. Louis Community College Libraries

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Ferguson, MO 63135-1408
Phone: 314-513-4514

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St. Louis, MO 63110-1316
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Meramec Campus Library
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St. Louis, MO 63122-5720
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Wildwood Campus Library
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Wildwood, MO 63040-1168
Phone: 636-422-2000