| By Alja Kooistra |
Spring is here! And with it come National Poetry Month and the daffodils:
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils
—William Wordsworth (1804)
Why spend an entire month to celebrate poetry? In a few words, poetry makes an impact. Perhaps that is why thousands of years ago humans sung or recited verse to one another as a form of communication and why children write silly love poems to their first crushes. We study poetry because, whether it be about love or social justice or the words themselves, poetry requires us to combine critical thinking and interpretation with essential human emotion.
A poem is as much about the reader as it is about itself. In Dead Poet’s Society (1989), Robin Williams portrays an unorthodox English teacher who uses the power of verse to inspire his students to think and feel for themselves. “We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.”
National Poetry Month is an excellent reminder to reconnect with the poems already familiar to you as well as to explore the poems and poets you have yet to discover. Our LitFinder database contains over 100,000 poems (!), from Shakespeare to contemporary poets such as Naomi Shihab Nye. Well-known and often studied poems can be read alongside interpretations and poet biographies to help better understand the context and meaning of each work.
During April, Poet’s Corner offers current subscribers of LitFinder access to a web banner, social media posts, a video, a training webinar, and even a poetry scavenger hunt to help you encourage the exploration of poetry and its many important themes. All these materials can be found on support.gale.com.
So, please take the time this month to appreciate the daffodils as well as promote the impact and sheer joy of poetry!
Not a subscriber to LitFinder? Request a trial to access the Poet’s Corner, original works, and more!