Tag Archives: National Poetry Month

David Cope Poetry Reading Planned April 12

David Cope Poetry Reading Poster

Mark your calendar for 7:00 PM, Thursday, April 12. Post-Beat poet and Grand Rapids Poet Laureate Emeritus, David Cope, will read from his newest book, The Invisible Keys, New and Selected Poems, as well as from poems that span his bardic career.

The poetry reading will take place on the 2nd floor of Grand Rapids Community College’s  Library & Learning Commons. (140 Ransom Ave. NE, GR, 49503 – building #10 on the campus map).

A long-time GRCC English professor, Cope sparked the poetic imaginations of many of his students. Cope also served as editor of Grand Rapids Community College Display Magazine for many years. Copies of Cope’s book published by Ghost Pony Press will be available for sale at $16.

Open to the public. | Refreshments | Public parking available in the Bostwick Parking Ramp. (# 8 on the campus map).

See our Poetry Subject Guide!David Cope Poetry Reading poster

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National Poetry Month: Pablo Neruda

Image of Pablo Neruda courtesy of WikiCommons

By Janelle Yahne
Library Circulation Associate

Poetry and I are merely acquaintances.

I read poetry when required for class, and recommended by friends. I listen intently as poets read aloud carefully chosen words and sometimes I understand what the person is trying to say. I am unable to distinguish average from amazing poems in the way I do not hear the difference between musical chords, but I enjoy the sound.

Thankfully, I have friends who understand poems intimately. Some of these friends can explain the nuances in meter and tone using the correct vocabulary. Some of these friends are poets themselves. Each friend has a favorite and I sent out a call to these friends to give me recommendations. The most common name on this list is Pablo Neruda
Pablo Neruda is considered one of the greatest Spanish language poets but also one of the more controversial due to his Communist politics and poetry. His poetry ranged from love to politics to the sea and everywhere between. Reading some of his poetry, especially about love and nature, reminded me a little Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s short stories based in Magical Realism with striking imagery built upon thoughtful words. Even in The Book of Questions, filled mostly with two line questions, it is the visions Neruda creates that grabs the reader more than the words: “How long does a Rhinoceros last / after he’s moved to compassion?” and “How do we thank the clouds / for their fleeting abundance?” are personal favorites.

As I have said, I am not an expert or an avid reader of poetry. Thankfully, the library has numerous books about Pablo Neruda and his poetry, along with books to assist with the understanding of poetry’s creation. Below is a brief list of materials we have for your use. Plenty more can be found in our collection.

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National Poetry Month: Different types of poetry

By Marcia Lee
Serials Specialist

Interested in learning how to write a poem? Want to know how to construct meter and verse? The library has a plethora of materials ranging from theory of poetry to how to write a poem.

Also, did you know there are over 55 different types of poetry styles? Listed below are some of the more commonly known types:

  • ABC poems – A poem that has five lines that create a mood, picture, or feeling. Lines 1 through 4 are made up of words, phrases or clauses while the first word of each line is in alphabetical order. Line 5 is one sentence long and begins with any letter.
  • Acrostic – Poetry that certain letters, usually the first in each line form a word or message when read in a sequence.
  • Ballads– A poem that tells a story similar to a folk tail or legend which often has a repeated refrain.
  • Bio – A poem written about one self’s life, personality traits, and ambitions.
  • Blank verse – A poem written in unrhymed iambic pentameter and is often unobtrusive. The iambic pentameter form often resembles the rhythms of speech.
  • Burlesque – Poetry that treats a serious subject as humor.
  • Couplet – A couplet has rhyming stanzas made up of two lines.
  • Elegy – A sad and thoughtful poem about the death of an individual.
  • Free verse – Poetry written in either rhyme or unrhymed lines that have no set fixed metrical pattern.
  • Haiku – A Japanese poem composed of three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five morea, usually containing a season word.
  • Lay – A long narrative poem, they were often sung by medieval entertainers.
  • Limerick – A short sometimes vulgar, humorous poem consisting of five anapestic lines. Lines 1, 2, and 5 have seven to ten syllables, rhyme and have the same verbal rhythm. The 3rd and 4th lines have five to seven syllables, rhyme and have the same rhythm.
  • Lyric – A poem that expresses the thoughts and feelings of the poet.
  • Narrative – A poem that tells a story.
  • Quatrain – A rhyming poem has the repetition of the same or similar sounds of two or more words, often at the end of the line.
  • Sonnet – A lyric poem that consists of 14 lines which usually have one or more conventional rhyme schemes.
  • Visual – The visual arrangement of text, images, and symbols to help convey the meaning of the work. Visual poetry is sometimes referred to as a type of concrete poetry.

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National Poetry Month: e.e. cummings

By Marcia Lee
Serials Specialist

“if you like my poems let them
walk in the evening, a little behind you…”

In honor of National Poetry month, I wanted to share a bit about my favorite poet, e.e. cummings. GRCC Library has several resources to help you take a closer look at e.e. cummings and his work.

e.e. cummings( Edward Estlin Cummings)

e.e. cummings’ life story is one of love, loss & words to describe the previous two. His life was perhaps no more tragic than any other and he suffered no more loss than anyone else, however he allowed his emotions, love, and observations to pour out in the written forms of poems and plays.

From the beginning, Cummings’ family – particularly his father – played a huge role in forming him as a man & as a writer. His father, Edward Cummings, was a man that e.e. looked up to, deeply loved and respected throughout his entire lifetime. His father was tragically taken from him in 1926 as a result of a horrific car accident. His mother survived the crash with significant head injuries & passed away in 1947 after suffering a stroke.

During his 68 years on earth, he had 2 brief marriages and 1 daughter whom he went without seeing for 22 years. His daughter Nancy was conceived with first wife, Elaine Orr. After Elaine left him for another man just 2 months after they wed, she took their 5 year old daughter with her to Ireland. Although allocated 3 months custody each year, Cummings did not see his daughter again until she was 27 years old.

After his first marriage to Orr ended, Cummings went on to marry once more for a mere 3 year stint and after the second marriage ended in 1932, he met the woman he would spend the remainder of his life with, Marion Morehouse. Although the two never legally married, they fulfilled the role of husband and wife for one another from 1932 until his death in 1962. Needless to say, Morehouse was the love of his life and stayed by his side during times of heartache.

His poems were influenced by what was going on at the time in his own personal life – as art often is. Events and people such as the women he loved, his father’s death, and his world travels were all translated into his writings. His unique writing style, which started at a young age, was and is, at least in my opinion, full of beauty and truth. 🙂

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Grand Rapids Poets’ Conference last day

By Janelle Yahne
Library Circulation Associate

After an exciting week, it is the final day of the Grand Rapids Poets’ Conference. The poets who will be ending the conference include Linda Nemec Foster (works available via library catalog), L. S. Klatt (works available via library catalog), and Miriam Pederson (works available via library catalog). Readings begin at 7 PM on the second floor of the library.

More information about all of the people involved in the conference can also be found here.

Thank you for your participation in the free event here on campus. It has been wonderful!

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