Have you read: Enjoy poetry through an anthology
June 20, 2007
Whether reading a poem for pleasure or school, the library is your source. The Zephyr Cove Library offers a wide array of books on poetry. In the poetry section, the library has everything from poetry anthologies to books on understanding poetry.
The origin of the word anthology is interesting: The word comes from the Greek word anthologia, which means flower gathering. Anthologies contain a selection of poems unified by style, theme or subject. “An Anthology of World Poetry” edited by Mark Van Doren is a good example of a just such a gathering of poems. First published in 1928, the book includes in English the best poetry of many cultures and languages. However, this collection is not entirely about representing the cultures and languages from which the poems come, but rather the beauty of the poems themselves. Each poem in this book is a flower to be thought about and enjoyed.
Robert Frost is one of America’s most beloved poets with good reason. Finding images in nature, his poetry conveys personal feeling and mood. “Come In & Other Poems” by Robert Frost is a good collection of poems in large print. Included in this book is a short biography of Frost by Louis Untermeyer, which helps the reader understand Frost and his poetry. Different chapters are arranged topically. The classic poem, “The Road Not Taken,” is in a chapter titled “Country Things and Other Things.” These poems with their many meanings and strong sense of place are a pleasure to read.
“Cowboy Poetry: A Gathering” edited by Hal Cannon also has a strong sense of place. The book talks about the West in sometimes spare, but often eloquent language. This book lets ranchers and cowboys speak for themselves beyond myth through poetry. With humor, song and rhyme, the poets describe life on the trail and much more. Never boring and always entertaining, these poems reflect a lively oral tradition.
If you want to teach children reading, encourage them to listen to and read poetry. “A Child’s Calendar,” with poems by John Updike and illustrations by Trina Schart Hyman, takes readers month by month through the calendar year. The poems are rhythmic with short descriptive stanzas that will appeal to children. The illustrations reflect the poems and feature the activities and holidays of each month. “A Child’s Calendar” is a wonderful book to read to children. Each poem celebrates everyday life. Children and adults alike will enjoy this book.
“How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry” by Edward Hirsch is a guide to reading and appreciating poetry. The author writes how poetry “can open up our imaginations.” With beautiful verse as examples, different aspects of poetry are discussed. A glossary chapter explains terms such as accent, meter and stanza. Whether reading for pleasure or school, this book will help the reader become better acquainted with poetry.
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These book and other books on poetry can be found at the Lake Tahoe Library in Zephyr Cove.
– Dan Doyle is a senior library technician at Lake Tahoe branch of the Douglas County Library.