This year, in celebration of National Poetry Month, adults 18+ are invited to submit their original poems for inclusion in the St. Louis County Library poetry compilation. The compilation will appear in the Indie Author Project, an online collection of works available to all participating Missouri libraries, available in SLCL’s eMedia collection. Use the link below for more information,
"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).
This guide will help you find reliable information on poetry, in both print and online sources. Use the tabs at left to navigate through the Poetry Research Guide.
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."
Source: Lyrical Ballads (1798-1800)
The official April 2020 National Poetry Month poster features the artwork of Samantha Aikman, winner of this year's National Poetry Month Poster Contest for Students. Aikman's design was selected by judges Alison Bechdel, renowned cartoonist, and former U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera. It features the following line from the poem "Remember" by current U.S. Poet Laureate, Joy Harjo: “Remember all is in motion, is growing, is you.”
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.
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