Library Corner: Poetry is in the air!
Director of Library Resources
Poetry is not the most popular genre in Grand County Library District’s collection of books. In fact, it is not in the top 10 genres. But it could be, and perhaps should be.
With April being National Poetry month, it is worth reminding our community of the value of poetry.
Poems can focus our attention on the twists and turns of human nature, observations of a fleeting moment, and the appreciation of the beauty of nature. Poetry can make us laugh, cry, wonder, think differently, feel deeply, and heal.
Poetry is written artistry.
A famous contemporary poet and teacher, Billy Collins, claims “Poetry is really the only history we have of the human heart.”
This was evident when National Youth Poet Laureate, Amanda Gorman, became an overnight phenomenon after she read her poem, “The Hill We Climb,” at the Jan. 20 inauguration. An excerpt will hopefully entice you to check out a copy of her book at a GCLD branch:
“When day comes, we step out of the shade,
Aflame and unafraid.
The new dawn blooms as we free it
For there is always light,
If only we’re brave enough to see it,
If only we’re brave enough to be it.”
— Amanda Gorman
Also available at GCLD and written by a local and powerful poet, Elyssa Clement, is “Before the Obituary: A Poetic Memoir.” This poem describes an “undeniable reality that she and her family have been running from for so long.”
There are over 500 books of poetry for all ages and interests in GCLD’s collection and over 5,000 in our consortium to explore, including:
• “Where the Sidewalk Ends” or “Falling Up,” both by Shel Silverstein, are classic collections of children’s poetry but fun for all ages.
• “Hello, Earth! Poems to Our Planet” by Joyce Sidman explores our world with joyous childlike wonder, great for Earth Day, April 22.
• “The Essential Rumi” by Rumi (1207-1273), often described as a scholar, theologian and the most best-selling poet in the United States, is especially famous for his poems on love.
• “Dearly: New Poems” by Margaret Atwood is a collection of poetry that encompasses themes from love to loss to nature to zombies. Something for everyone.
After checking out a few books, maybe you are ready create your own poem. How to begin?
Log into GCLD’s online resource Universal Class and take Poetry Writing 101, rated 4.6 stars out of 5 by over 1,800 students. It is free with your GCLD library card, is self-paced, and can be counted as 1.7 Continuing Education Units (CEUs).
For add inspiration, use GCLD’s Access Grand program to reserve a pass to the Denver Botanic Gardens, which now allows 6 people per pass, the Butterfly Pavilion, the Denver Zoo, Grand County Museums, Mountain Moon Yoga or any place that will help you on your poetic journey.
Have you created a poem that is worthy of hanging on your wall or saving as a keepsake? Take an online Creativebug class such as calligraphy, embroidery, or a journaling class to transform the poem into a visual work of art.
There are many reasons to appreciate poetry. What is yours?
Following is Susan Harman’s poem about Grand County titled “Glory.” For more, http://www.poetrysocietyofcolorado.org/members/susan-harman
Glory is the Fraser Valley,
set in idyllic Grand County.
It is spelled bird, cerulean and small
appearing suddenly at my feet,
splashing in puddles
left by the Spring rains
of an early June evening.
Nothing but glory as I linger,
inhaling to awaken, to remember
sweet smells of wild grasses and native plants,
still dripping from their mountain shower.
Driving out of Snow Mountain Ranch,
glory is eggplant-purple mountain majesties,
jagged tips, still holding on to whites of winter-
heading north on Hwy 40
open spaces already calming,
dotted with Douglas fir and lodgepole pines-
on both sides-
glory revealed in the newborn calf
standing tall and still,
her mother licking her clean.
then again, the sleepy white mare
rising to her feet the first time this morning
-yes, this is glory.
It stretches on so that
a human heart can barely take
it all in without bursting-
a moose crossing,
a coyote running, birds flying-
Veering left into Byers Canyon
Glory is strong, the gushing waters of
the cocky Colorado
pushing both sides of the canyon open,
the opposing hillside standing ground,
blanketed in shades of unnamed greens.
Glory is gentle, a slow transition from
Winter Park’s Montane Forest
to Montane Shrubland in Kremmling,
it’s wide-open spaces
enfolding the spirit-
with nothing but GLORY-
the Blue Valley Ranch
dressing CR 9 in its finest
before a turn onto CR 1’s
captivating last stretch –
finally setting eyes
upon the resplendent,
Colorado River Headwaters.
— Susan Harman
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Thanks to the generosity of Friends of the Grand County Library District, it has been a very eventful and successful 2021 Summer Reading Program.