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Cat in the Stax: “I too, dislike it”

By Ethan Shea


In just a few days, National Poetry Month will begin. This celebration is the perfect opportunity to return to your favorite poems, discover some new ones, or even write one for yourself!

Poetry comes in many forms. You could channel your inner Shakespeare and write a sonnet, a fourteen-line poem, you might challenge yourself to compose a villanelle, a much more complex and constrictive nineteen-line poem.

"'Poetry' (1967) by Marianne Moore"

“Poetry” (1967) by Marianne Moore

If you have a lot of time on your hands, maybe you’ll write an epic poem, a very long narrative poem that usually tells the tale of a valiant protagonist doing (for lack of a better word) epic things. The stories told by Homer in The Iliad and The Odyssey are two of the most famous epic poems ever written. However, these tales were most likely crafted through oral tradition and eventually compiled into the texts we know today.

For some, poetry can be difficult to love. One piece could appear needlessly complex, and another may seem too simple. Even Marianne Moore, a renowned American poet, famously declared, “I too, dislike it” to begin her aptly titled poem, “Poetry.” But don’t worry, the piece goes on to explain her love for poetry.

If you’re struggling to get into poetry, be patient. With the unceasing number of poems available here at Falvey, rest assured there’s something in the stacks written just for you.

Emily Dickinson, one of America’s most celebrated poets, once wrote in a letter to her friend and mentor: “If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry.”

With that in mind, try to keep your head in tact when reading these poetry books:

The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes

Emily Dickinson’s Poems: As She Preserved Them

The Poems of T.S. Eliot

The Complete Poems of Elizabeth Bishop

The Collected Poems of Frank O’Hara

The Tradition – Jericho Brown

Wolf Lake, White Gown Blown Open: Poems – Diane Seuss

The Unswept Room – Sharon Olds

Ordinary Beast – Nicole Sealey

If you just can’t get enough poetry, mark your calendars for April 20 and join us in the Speakers’ Corner of Falvey at 4 p.m. for the Poetic License Exhibit Launch and Open Mic Celebration! We hope to see you there!

Headshot of Ethan SheaEthan Shea is a second-year graduate student in the English Department and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Library.



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Last Modified: March 29, 2023

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