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Blog Posts by Subject: Poetry

The Reader's Den: Epistolary Poetry for April

The Den is warm today With April sun Just in time For Poetry Month! More epistolary poetry: letters in the form of a poem.Read More ›

Sparrows and Heroes, or Why Poetry?

After the winter we've had, I've been really looking forward to April. With the longer daylight hours, signs of green, and chances to enjoy the city's parks and rivers without shivering, I feel something in my brain waking up and it seems natural to break out the poetry.Read More ›

Finding a Life at The New York Public Library: Emily Dickinson, the Avid Music Collector

December 10th is the birthday of Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), a beloved poet who in her youth was a talented pianist and active music collector. The collections of The New York Public Library serve to illuminate those interests and activities in a variety of ways.

Archives & Special Collections,Amherst College, used with permission.In 1846, Emily Dickinson's second cousin, Olivia Coleman, wrote to Emily from Philadelphia: "We discovered a new Music Store, and I purchased the song 'I'm alone—all alone,' for I am truly alone without 

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Tween Poets Examine their Lives in Verse at Imagination Academy, Week 3

Following an enthusiastic session spent creating their own graphic novels, our tween writers gathered last week to explore the realm of poetry. Local poets led the nine to twelve year olds in workshops in which they studied many different types of poetry. The kids all enjoyed this special opportunity to express themselves with this unique form of writing.

Shape PoemDave Johnson began the week by having the kids introduce themselves through acrostic poems. The tweens spelled out their names vertically and assigned to each letter a descriptive word or phrase that 

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John Donne, Re-done

My colleague MN said she would be coming the 'my' next lecture. Of course I said what?? (your friends will come to your funeral, your real friends go to your lectures). She had just discovered John Adams's opera Doctor Atomic and pointed me to the YouTube clip of the aria "Batter My Heart," one of Donne's most famous poems. Cool, as the youngbloods say (used to say?)

But back to the lecture, which is neither mine, nor a lecture. This 

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Shakespeare in the Rose Main Reading Room

Most of the collections at the Stephen A. Schwarzman building are closed-stacked, i.e., we bring them to you. But on the 3rd floor, the Rose Main Reading Room maintains open, very open stacks of about 30,000 volumes on every subject, not just the humanities and social sciences which is our collection strength.

Here is a picture of the Shakespeare section, on the short shelves at the north-east corner. In addition to the complete works, it holds critical editions, 

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Shakespeare and Teens: "The Juliet Club"

Well, it's April and time for Shakespeare Week. And once again, to read a great novel—The Juliet Club, by Wertheim writer Suzanne Harper.  Here is the

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Booktalking "Cat Poems" by Dave Crawley

I love the cat breed illustrations on the inside of the front and back covers of this book. All of the cats look so happy! The book is full of poems that indicate the nature of cats, and anyone who has experience with cats or who has lived with cats knows exactly what Crawley is talking about in these cat poems.

In the poem "Brand X," a cat was acting for a commercial for cat food. Wouldn't you know it? When asked to choose between the 

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Check it out: YA Novels in Verse!

I can't say that I've always been the biggest poetry fan. But lately I've been getting into novels in verse, which have been popping up all over the YA Fiction scene for awhile now. Ellen Hopkins is the queen of this and if you've never read her work before, do yourself a favor and check out Crank as soon as possible. You will be hooked... freaked out... and hooked.

I made a

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Reader's Den: Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner, Week 2

The author of Leaving the Atocha Station, Ben Lerner, is originally from Kansas and has a BA in political science and an MFA in creative writing from Brown University. He was a 2003-2004 Fulbright Scholar in Spain and he currently teaches in the English Department at Brooklyn College. Leaving the Atocha Station 

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Aging Creatively at Mid-Manhattan Library: The Art of Making Poems - Creation and Craft

"She saw the moon, she saw the birds, she saw the little shoes, in summer, before swimming pools filled up — strong and empty and waiting" ~from The Shoes

Enter the world of teaching poet and published author Hermine Meinhard. From here, enter your subconscious, and write what you find. Ms. Meinhard will be there to help you along.

Mid-Manhattan Library is pleased to offer a free ten-week workshop with 

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Haiku Redux

Fang and I were very, very lucky during the hurricane. We were out of power for only 24 hours, during which I wrote the three haiku below: "On the Advantages of the Absence of Electricity."

Haiku is one of the more accessible poetic forms (have you ever tried writing a sestina?), at least for the likes of me. There are, of course, books galore of and about them, but a short and sweet

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Arnold Schoenberg and Haiku

I play the piano a little bit and am working on AS's Six Little Pieces, op. 19. Little they are — all six take less than five minutes to play. Easy they are not — the slightest error in nuance ruins them. Written in 1911, they are among his 'atonal' works, a vague term but basically describing those works in which the usual major/minor tonalities were avoided. I don't quite know why so many people have an aversion to this music, and its successor, serial 

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Borimix 2012 Puerto Rican Fest and the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center

Miguel Trelles, one of the hands behind the scenes of Festival Borimix, is the kind of New Yorker who gives you hope.

After Sandy blacked out and knocked us off our hinges — like the Lower East Side and the rest of the City, Borimix 2012 Puerto Rico Fest picked itself up dusted off and now also in the aftermath of a contentious racially and sexually charged but hopefully empowering election, from the Belly-ache opera to the Mexican Pinocchio, Miguel and his cohorts at the Clemente 

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Who is Harlem Witness?

Who is Harlem Witness? St. George Library Center found out not too long ago when local Staten Island musician Shawn "Harlem Witness" DeBerry performed his Gospel-Rap set to audience full of eager concert goers. Shawn also provided us with a little bit of information about his musical background and the personal aspirations he has for his craft. 

What kind of music do you listen to?

I actually listen to a wide variety of music such as

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Aphrodite Metropolis: Kenneth Fearing in the Village

Kenneth Fearing was a major poet of the Great Depression and the founding editor of the Partisan Review.

He lived at 311 W. 11th Street and his birthday is July 28.

You can find a selection of 

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The Life of a Poet: Hart Crane in the Village

Hart Crane lived for a time at 45 Grove Street (he more famously had an apartment with a view of the Brooklyn Bridge) and his birthday is July 21.

Crane was a poet in the Rimbaud fashion. His life was restless, chaotic and short.

It may have been a good 

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Christmas in July: Clement Clark Moore in the Village

Clement Clark Moore is credited with writing one of the most famous poems in the world, "Twas the Night Before Christmas," also known as "A Visit from St. Nickolas."

This poem was first published anonymously in 1823, and was not attributed to Clement Moore until it was included in an 1844 anthology of Moore's poems. Moore wrote it for his children and at their insistence he included it in this edition. Moore, however, was generally more serious minded than this poem and apparently wanted to distance himself from it. He certainly didn't need the 

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Looking for Something Lost: Mark Van Doren in the Village

Mark Van Doren edited and published An Anthology of World Poetry in 1929. Amazingly, this enabled him to buy the house at

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Poetry Fest at the Aguilar Center for Reading and Writing

If you think of poems as flowers, then the Aguilar Poetry Fest was an exercise in charming cross-pollination. Sharing was the thing. Students were seated in groups of about 6, where they read their chosen poems to each other and then intermixed with other tables to multiply the fun. Poets included Langston Hughes,

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