Feel like you “don’t get” poetry? Don’t know your assonance from your anapest? Poetry for Dummies is an excellent place to start. It begins gently with “Reading and Understanding Poetry,” then moves through some history of poetry and covers how to begin writing (and performing!) poetry yourself.
There’s something magical about having a poem memorized–you can declaim it majestically to your bemused roommates or just silently entertain yourself with it when you’re bored at a bus stop. Committed to Memory: 100 Best Poems to Memorize gives you a plethora of poetry to choose from, everything from the giddy nonsense of “Jabberwocky” and “The Owl and the Pussy-cat” to the universal sorrows of “Spring and Fall: to a Young Child” and “Not Waving But Drowning” to the hair-raising creepiness of “The Second Coming” and “The Kraken.”
Once you’ve got a grounding in the basics you may find yourself wanting to dive deeper into specific poets or themes–we’ve got you covered there too!
Eight American Poets gives you a thorough sampling of Sylvia Plath, John Berryman, personal favorite Theodore Roethke, and several other poets who were heavy hitters in the American post-1940 poetry world, including biographical essays on each writer.
Soulscript: A Collection of African American Poetry highlights a wide-ranging expanse of Black poets from the early 20th century onward including Gwendolyn Brooks, Langston Hughes, Audre Lord and many others.
And finally, however your love life is going this spring, Reynolds Libraries can meet your poetry needs with either The 100 Best Love Poems of All Time or The Handbook of Heartbreak: 101 Poems of Lost Love and Sorrow!