Tag: National Poetry Month

Before printed material became mass produced, information, stories and poems were passed through memorization and recitation from person-to-person. While I am lucky enough to have polished my memorization skills through years of theatre and voice, I am also someone who struggles remembering the five things I need to pick up at the grocery store. Memorization of anything is so rarely required in our day-to-day lives anymore beyond a one-time school assignment or large scale presentations.

On January 15, 2018, Ursula Le Guin finished editing her latest collection of poetry and sent off the revised manuscript. On January 22, 2018, she died. In October of the same year, this work was published as So Far, So Good: Final Poems, 2014-2018. Ultimately, this volume is a farewell – and a wonderful collection of poetry.

As much as I wanted to highlight another poet for National Poetry Month, Mary Oliver will always be my go-to. I've read many books of poetry but none have captured me like Oliver's works. It saddens me that we will not have any new works to read of hers, but I am also so grateful to have access to her works. Every time I encounter one of her collections here at the library, I sigh a deep sigh of longing; I want to lock myself away in Mary's world and never surface. She has such a sweet and gentle way of drawing you into her wo

Yes, the Anythink blog is quite fond of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winning poet Mary Oliver who passed away in January of this year. During last year’s Poetry Picks, Maria shared the graceful piece ‘The Wren from Carolina’ and Laura spoke to the level of awareness Oliver provides the reader in ‘Wild Geese’.

One of my favorite lines in all of poetry comes from Alexander Pope’s “An Essay on Criticism,” which defines true wit as “what oft was thought, but ne’er so well expressed.”

These nine words seem, to me, the perfect definition of an autological statement: they express the property that they also possess. They are about truth and they ring true.

April 29, 2019 - 6:15 pm to 8:00 pm

Enthusiasts of beer and poetry: Join us as we celebrate National Poetry Month with a free beer tasting from Mother Tucker Brewery and with poems written throughout history inspired by the drinking of beer. Hear from favorites such as Walt Whitman, Edgar Allen Poe and Sylvia Plath. Try your hand at writing a poem of your own to share, and toast with us to the love of beer and poetry! Appropriate for adults aged 21 and older with a valid photo ID. Space is limited; online registration required for each attendee. We will meet in the event space at Mother Tucker Brewery at 2360 E 120th Ave. This event is sponsored by the Anythink Foundation.  

Age: 
Adult

The Canadian geese are calling, and I am listening. Their sounds from above recall me to the here and now, to the ground below my feet. The poetry of wild geese in flight has long called out to me, in this way: it reminds me of the present moment and restores me to it. The singular poem, “Wild Geese,” has done similar service for me, over many years. Mary Oliver first published “Wild Geese” in 1986, and I first read it the following year. A friend sent it to me then, and the poem has remained a true gift in my life.

Image credit to Sharon McCutcheon

Back before my time at Anythink, I was a real nerd. After spending a single hour trying my best not to over-celebrate the fact that I was touching books Benjamin Franklin had set the type for, I realized I needed a job handling this kind of material. And I wanted it right then. And after walking next door to the actual Special Collections department at the University of Iowa Libraries, that's exactly the kind of job I got. The next two years of my life were spent getting to know the texts we kept behind a vault, or on specially ventilated spaces.

Like much of Mary Oliver’s work, The Wren from Carolina  (text below) speaks to that voice inside all of us that cries out on occasion in soft gratefulness: for the first signs of spring, or the unspoken kind gesture, or perhaps for the comfort of a great book on one’s lap. This poem always makes me appreciative of “my own cup of gladness” that is new each morning, even when it feels out of reach. I imagine the puffed up, feathered yellow breast of a Carolina Wren as he prepares to sing his morning praises to the world around him, and I try to emulate him in my own way.

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