Paying Homage to Poetry

The Fall of ArthurPoetry has had a special place in literature, and our hearts, for many centuries. There’s just something about a rhyme that can really stick with you. Of course, not every poem has to rhyme; poems come in all shapes and sizes. Some are long and meticulously detailed, while others are short and sweet. In 1996 the Academy of American Poets decided to dedicate the month of April to celebrate this versatile and timeless art form.

In celebration of National Poetry Month all branches of JMRL will be handing out poem scrolls on Thursday, April 24, which is known as Poem in Your Pocket Day. Poems will also be handed out in various locations in Charlottesville, at UVa and Martha Jefferson hospitals, the Senior Center, ACAC in Albemarle Square, and several businesses along the Downtown Mall. Stop by one of those locations or your local library to pick up your very own poem and read it aloud to yourself, a friend, a coworker or a family member, or just keep it in your pocket for a rainy day. You never know what you’ll get!

If you’d like to have a little poetry celebration of your own, try one of these books from the JMRL catalog:

The Fall of Arthur by J.R.R. Tolkien — Presents the legend of King Arthur in an epic, but unfinished, poem written in Old English alliterative meter.

Dog Songs by Mary Oliver — A selection of new and favorite poems celebrates the canine companions who have enriched the author’s world, exploring how they have accompanied her walks, inspired her work, and served as life guides.

Aimless Love: New and Selected Poems by Billy Collins — Presents a volume of more than 50 new poems accompanied by a generous gathering from the author’s collections of the past decade, lending insight into his overall poetic achievements and his use of playful, ironic, and melodic language.

Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die; Cherish, Perish: A Novel by David Rakoff — The NPR radio essayist and award-winning author of “Fraud” presents an edgy novel in verse that traverses the experiences of characters linked by acts of generosity or cruelty throughout major historical events of the 20th century.

The World Will Follow Joy: Turning Madness into Flowers by Alice Walker — This collection of poetry from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Color Purple features verse that pays tribute to Jimmy Carter, Gloria Steinem and the Dalai Lama and also deals with anger, forgiveness and wisdom.

The staff at the library will be happy to help you find the book that is just right for you.

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