Cary's Shelf - We Need Poetry

Published Monday, September 26, 2022
Poetry: An Acquired Taste We All Need to Acquire

As of July, our country has a new Poet Laureate to celebrate: Ada Limón. What better time to delve into our poetry collection?

I did not grow up reading poetry, and as an adult my serendipitous reading path did not meander through the poetry collections of libraries or book stores. Emily Dickenson (forced to read in school) and Walt Whitman (a volume gifted to me by a dear friend) are the only two poets I have read who stirred some inner contemplation and recognition in me. So, I was surprised to find, while moving our American Poetry collection to a new location in the library, that I kept stopping to scan the lines of unknown (to me) poets, getting so caught up in the words that I didn't notice time passing. We are fortunate to have so many living poets who come from varied backgrounds, young and old, who express their experiences by a variety of universal means.

Today, many of us find ourselves treading dark waters, and I think I've finally got an inkling of how poetry can make a difference to me, personally. What about you? From a recent interview, Limón said:

"I think that it's really important to remember that even in this particularly hard moment, divided moment, poetry can really help us reclaim our humanity . . . I think we need to remember that we possess the full spectrum of human emotions. And I think moving through that grief and trauma, anger, rage — through poetry I think we can actually remember that on the other side of that is also contentment, joy, a little peace now and again, and that those are all a part of the same spectrum. And that without one, we don't have the other."

- Ada Limón

Ada limon 2

To get you started, here are links to three of Ada's poetry books at EPL:

The Carrying - Request

The Hurting Kind - Request

Bright Dead Things - Request

Ada limon books for blog
About the Author

Cary is our Development & Outreach Librarian. Her idea of a perfect day is a complete stereotype: reading or watching British crime fiction with a cup of hot tea close at hand, her favorite quilt, and her cats Clio & Junie on her lap.

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