Reading Lives: Poetry Month

This is Poetry Month, and it is a big deal here in the library. We have an exhibit. We send out a daily poem to all interested faculty and staff. Poetry is everywhere.

So we decided to share some of our favorite poems and why they are meaningful to us:

Colette: One of the reasons I write poetry is because so many poems have been meaningful to me, for different reasons, at different times in my life.  Without getting too personal here, I have selected a couple of poems which roll into my head every Spring.  Nikki Giovani’s Housecleaning (below) reminds me that spring cleaning can take on many forms. Donald Hall’s Digging is a beautiful look at personal growth and change (link).

by Nikki Giovani

I always liked housecleaning
even as a child
I dug straightening cabinets
putting new paper on shelves
washing the refrigerator
inside out
and unfortunately this habit
has carried over and I find
I must now remove you
from my life.

 Emily: Does this count? I really like Lydia Davis, but I don’t think she considers her work poetry. This is my favorite of hers.


We know only four boring people. The rest of our friends we find very interesting. However, most of the friends we find interesting find us

boring: the most interesting find us the most boring. The few who are somewhere in the middle, with whom there is reciprocal interest, we

distrust: at any moment, we feel, they may become too interesting for us, or we too interesting for them.

PamEvangeline by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow touched my very soul, and I never forgot about her and her heartwrenching wait and search for her lifelong lover.(Link)

Sally: My favorite poem is “A book is like an open door”, but I could not find a link to it.  This poem by Emily Dickinson is similar to it, so I am sending it as my favorite.  The reason is that books can take you anywhere and are always open. (link)

Jolly Librarian: While I have many favorite poems, one that I keep coming back to when I need a poem for inspiration or to use in a talk is “To Be of Use” by Marge Piercy. I used to have it pinned to my wall to remind myself that this is how I want to be. (I’m not sure where it got to, so I’m going reprint and repin today.) I rarely am of use, but it is a goal to which I aspire! (link)


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