Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf,
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day
Nothing gold can stay
This classic poem, "Nothing Gold can Stay," is familiar to many of us. Maybe you memorized it in grade school. Or perhaps you remember it from S.E. Hinton's "The Outsiders"?
Are you a potential poet and don't know it? Poet enthusiasts unite at Eagle Public Library the third Friday morning of each month at 10:30 a.m. Local library patron and poetry expert Katherine Delanoy coordinates this group, which is open to anyone who wants to share favorite poems, their own creations or just come listen.
This group began meeting about a year ago, and it takes place in the library's upstairs meeting room while our preschool story time is happening right below it in the downstairs meeting space. There aren't any conflicts, since our ceiling is soundproof!
Until recently, I was unable to participate. After making the move from children's librarian to adult services, I am now a proud member of the group. I look forward to these monthly gatherings as I get to know other poetry aficionados.
I enjoyed writing poems at a young age, and as an adult am hoping this group will inspire me to write again. My personal favorite poets are Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost.
Katherine and I have both submitted haiku poetry to the local Daily Weekly, and are encouraging other poetry group members to do likewise. One form of classic haiku uses three lines with syllables of five-seven-five. Here are recent ones she and I submitted:
Tight structured haiku
Five then seven then five beats
Or it's not correct
Brain power at work
Strong silence, pages turning
Katherine shared with the group a passage from "Ode less traveled - unlocking the poet within" by Stephen Fry. He states that the three golden rules of poetry are: take your time, never worry about meaning, and buy a notebook. The library is providing nice little notebooks for the attendees.
One of the library's new titles is 20th Century Poetry, which includes over 400 poems that are representative of what was happening in our world. This anthology is arranged chronologically, so that the reader can get a feel for how our culture was influenced by events of that time.
The book kicks off in 1900, with Thomas Hardy's "The Darkling Thrush." There is at least one poem for every year in the century. Popular and lesser known poems are included, as well as the poets themselves. These include Rudyard Kipling, James Joyce, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Robert Frost - just to name a few of the numerous poets.
This arrangement of poetry captures the history of the 20th century, and the major events are reflected in the editors' choice of poems. Editors Michael Hulse and Simon Rae are both poets themselves. This is a wonderful edition for both poet and history buff - the history of the 20th century is seen through the eyes of influential poets.
Our monthly poetry hour is currently a small gathering of ladies who enjoy talking about favorite poems and poets, as well as sharing their own writings. The public is welcome and our next meeting is at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 16, in the upstairs meeting room. After that, we will resume our regular third Friday of each month in January. Come join us - bring a poem to share or just sit back and listen!