Poetry Book Display

“Poetry is a response to the daily necessity of getting the world right.” -Wallace Stevens

To celebrate National Poetry Month, the second floor of the McKay Library has a selection of poetry books on display for students to look through. According to Brother Sam Nielson, a librarian who works with the English department, “The display is to encourage those writers, readers, and anyone with a poetic interest” as well as to “showcase a few titles that might not be seen otherwise.”

In the words of Brother Nielson, “[Poetry] is a response to the world around us. It is seeing a connection between things, real and imagined… It won’t help pay the bills like business or engineering. It doesn’t help a broken leg like medical services would. But, it can help teach us to see things in a new way. It can help us see what living means or does for another…”

Former United States President John F. Kennedy once said “When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the area of man’s concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.”

“Empathy. Understanding. Wider experience,” Brother Nielson said. “Poetry is also about catching elusive meaning in language, yet leaving the interpretation open to the understanding of the reader.”

For the display, Brother Nielson, working with Brother Chris Fox, chose a variety of different types of poetry in the hopes of appealing to a wider audience. This selection includes poems from various time periods all around the world. Included in the selection are also a few titles about poetry itself, such as essays on how to understand poetry, why read it, why write it, and more. Some selections also instruct those who are interested in leaning how to write poetry.

“We all like to see what our words do to another,” Brother Nielson said on writing poetry. “We talk about that in church. We are ministers. It is also significant that a goodly part of our scriptures were written (and also translated) in a poetic way. Poetry can teach things indirectly, but in a powerful way.”

Some notable poets featured in the selection include William Shakespeare, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and Ingrid Wendt. Brother Nielson’s favorites from the selections include Norris’ Ark’s “Pit Ponies” and the technique book “Art and Craft of Poetry” by Michael Bugeja.

Make sure to check out this great selection of poems before the end of the month.