Celebrating National Poetry Month, Falvey Memorial Library staff shared some of their favorite poems.
“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all -And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.
Submitted by Kallie Stahl, Communication and Marketing Specialist
Submitted by Luisa Cywinski, Director of Access Services
If ever there were a spring day so perfect,
so uplifted by a warm intermittent breeze
that it made you want to throw
open all the windows in the house
and unlatch the door to the canary’s cage,
indeed, rip the little door from its jamb,
a day when the cool brick paths
and the garden bursting with peonies
seemed so etched in sunlight
that you felt like taking
a hammer to the glass paperweight
on the living room end table,
releasing the inhabitants
from their snow-covered cottage
so they could walk out,
holding hands and squinting
into this larger dome of blue and white,
well, today is just that kind of day.
ships lean no
a light for
those left out.
It is intimate
and remote both
for the keeper
and those afloat.
The Same City—Terrance Hayes
Submitted by Erica Hayes, Digital Scholarship Librarian
The rain falling on a night
I pull to my father’s engine
wondering how long I’ll remember
this. His car is dead. He connects
jumper cables to his battery,
then to mine without looking in
at me and the child. Water beads
on the windshields, the road sign,
his thin blue coat. I’d get out now,
prove I can stand with him
in the cold, but he told me to stay
with the infant. I wrap her
in the blanket, staring
for what seems like a long time
into her open, toothless mouth,
and wish she was mine. I feed her
an orange softened first in my mouth,
chewed gently until the juice runs
down my fingers as I squeeze it
into hers. What could any of this matter
to another man passing on his way
to his family, his radio deafening
the sound of water and breathing
along all the roads bound to his?
But to rescue a soul is as close
as anyone comes to God.
Think of Noah lifting a small black bird
from its nest. Think of Joseph,
raising a son that wasn’t his.
Let me begin again.
I want to be holy. In rain
I pull to my father’s car
with my girlfriend’s infant.
She was eight weeks pregnant when we met.
But we’d make love. We’d make
love below stars and shingles
while her baby kicked between us.
Perhaps a man whose young child
bears his face, whose wife waits
as he drives home through rain
and darkness, perhaps that man
would call me a fool. So what.
There is one thing I will remember
all my life. It is as small
and holy as the mouth
of an infant. It is speechless.
When his car would not stir,
my father climbed in beside us,
took the orange from my hand,
took the baby in his arms.
In 1974, this man met my mother
for the first time as I cried or slept
in the same city that holds us
tonight. If you ever tell my story,
say that’s the year I was born.
When This Is—Laura Kelly Fanucci
Submitted by Daniella Snyder, Graduate Assistant
When this is over,
may we never again take for granted;
A handshake with a stranger, Full shelves at the store,
Conversations with neighbors,
A crowded theater, Friday night out,
The taste of communion, A routine checkup,
The school rush each morning, Coffee with a friend,
The stadium roaring, Each deep breath! A boring Tuesday. Life itself.
When this ends, may we find that we have become more like the people we wanted to be,
we were called to be,
we hope to be,
and may we stay that way — better for each other because of the worst.
Mortal City—Dar Williams
Submitted by Shawn Proctor, Marketing and Communication Program Manager
I hear the neighbors upstairs
I hear my heart beating
I hear one thousand hearts beating at the hospital
And one thousand hearts by their bedsides waiting
Saying that’s my love in the white gown,
We are not lost in the Mortal City
Submitted by Joanne Quinn, Director of Communication and Marketing
Poetry Unbound podcast—by Pádraig Ó Tuama
Submitted by Laura Bang, Distinctive Collections Librarian, “Ó Tuama reads a poem and discusses some of the meanings he finds in it. The podcast provides a short and lovely way to be introduced to new poems and new ways of seeing the world.”