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Book of the Week: Poets' Corner

For National Poetry Month, Rebecca Westfall recommends The Poets' Corner, compiled by John Lithgow.

It’s National Poetry Month.

I hung a poster in the library announcing the fact. I hung it quickly and sped off to the next task calling my name. But something niggled in my mind, a memory of poetry. Curled up quietly, or stretched out languidly, letting my mind dance around the words – this is how I remember poetry.

Reading poetry is like studying a painting. It cannot be rushed. And these days I rush. I rush everywhere, and I confess poetry has not crossed my mind for some time.

So I decided to slow down today and read some poetry. We have a lovely little book compiled by the actor John Lithgow, The Poets’ Corner. Lithgow introduces fifty English and American poets, telling a bit about their lives and style, and then sharing one well-known poem with a bit of analysis and explanation. Additional poems by each poet are recommended. This book is designed to read as a family, introducing children to poets and poetry. An mp3 CD is included so you can listen to the poems, too.

I sighed over Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Edna St. Vincent Millay, learned about the Librarian Poet Philip Larkin, and laughed out loud at Ogden Nash. Perhaps you, too, need to slow down. May I recommend poetry?

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