- Slides: 48
Poetry Immerse yourself in poetry! poetry.
To You. by Walt Whitman STRANGER! if you, passing, meet me, and desire to speak to me, why should you not speak to me? And why should I not speak to you?
Walt Whitman • WALT WHITMAN was born in Westhills, Long Island, May 31, 1819, in a farm-house overlooking the sea. While yet a child his parents moved to Brooklyn, where he acquired his education. He learned type-setting at thirteen years of age. Two years later he taught a country school. He contributed to the "Democratic Review" before he was twenty-one years old. At thirty he traveled through the Western States, and spent one year in New Orleans editing a newspaper. Returning home he took up his father's occupation of carpenter and builder, which he followed for a while. During the War of the Rebellion he spent most of his time in the hospitals and camps, in the relief of the sick and disabled soldiers. For a time he was a department clerk in Washington. In 1856 he published a volume entitled "Leaves of Grass. " This volume shows unquestionable power, and great originality. His labors among the sick and wounded necessarily made great impressions; these took form in his mind and were published under the title of "Drum Taps. " His poems lack much of the standard of recognized poetic measure. He has a style peculiar to himself, and his writings are full of meaning, beauty and interest. Of his productions, Underwood says: "Pupils who are accustomed to associate the idea of poetry with regular classic measure in rhyme, or in ten-syllabled blank verse or elastic hexameters, will commence these short and simple prose sentences with surprise, and will wonder how any number of them can form a poem. But let them read aloud with a mind in sympathy with the picture as it is displayed, and they will find by nature's unmistakable responses, that the author was a poet, and possessed the poet's incommunicable power to touch the heart. " He died in Camden, N. J. , March 20, 1892.
The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost
• Robert Frost was born in San Francisco on March 26, 1874. He moved to New England at the age of eleven and became interested in reading and writing poetry during his high school years in Lawrence, Massachusetts. He was enrolled at Dartmouth College in 1892, and later at Harvard, though he never earned a formal degree. • Frost drifted through a string of occupations after leaving school, working as a teacher, cobbler, and editor of the Lawrence Sentinel. His first professional poem, "My Butterfly, " was published on November 8, 1894, in the New York newspaper The Independent. • In 1895, Frost married Elinor Miriam White, who became a major inspiration in his poetry until her death in 1938. The couple moved to England in 1912, after their New Hampshire farm failed. While in England, Frost also established friendships with many poets, who helped to promote and publish his work. Frost returned to the United States in 1915.
I'm Nobody! Who are you? by Emily Dickinson
• Emily or should I say Poetess Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachuetts on December 10, 1830. Emily lived secluded in the house she was born in, except for the short time she attended Amherst Academy and Holyoke Female Seminary, until her death on May 15, 1886 due to Bright's disease. Emily was an energetic and outgoing woman while attending the Academy and Seminary. It was later, during her mid-twenties, that Emily began to grow reclusive. She attended almost exclusively to household chores and to writing poetry. Many scholars have tried to understand theorize why Emily decided to seclude herself in her home and write about the most intimate experiences and feelings of life. I think that the best of these theories is that Emily could not write about the world with out first backing away from the it and contemplating it from a distance. Emily had a few friends and acquaintances from day to day. One of these aquaintances was Thomas Wentworth Higginson whom she sent a few pieces of her poetry to. He rejected her poems, but he was eventually the first to publish her work after her death. Emily only had a six or seven of her poems published during her lifetime--and those without her consent. The number is argued over because one poem was published more than once. It was after her death that her poems were discovered. It is estimated that Emily wrote over 1700 poems.
Dora Diller by Jack Prelutsky
• Jack Prelutsky (born September 8, 1940 in Brooklyn, New York) is an American poet. He attended New York public schools, and later the High School of Music and Art and Hunter College. • Prelutsky, who has also worked as a busboy, furniture mover, folk singer, and cab driver, claims that he hated poetry in grade school because of the way it was taught. He is the author of more than 30 poetry collections including Nightmares: Poems to Trouble Your Sleep< and A Pizza the Size of the Sun. He has also compiled countless children's anthologies comprised of poems of others'. • Jack Prelutsky was married to Von Tre Venefue, a woman he had met in France. They divorced in 1995, but Jack remarried. He currently lives in Washington state with his wife, Carolyn. He befriended a gay poet named Espiritu Salamanca in 1997 and both now work together in writing poems and stories for children and adults alike.
I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud by William Wordsworth
• WILLIAM WORDSWORTH was born at Cockermouth, Cumberland County, England, April 7, 1770, and he died on April 28, 1850. He was buried by the side of his daughter in the beautiful churchyard of Grasmere. • His father was law agent to Sir James Lowther, afterward Earl of Lonsdale, but he died when William was in his seventh year. • The poet attended school first at Hawkshead School, then at Cambridge University. William was also entered at St. Johns in 1787. Having finished his academical course, Wordsworth, in 1790, in company with Mr. Robert James, a fellow-student, made a tour on the continent. With this friend Wordsworth made a tour in North Wales the following year, after taking his degree in college. He was again in France toward the close of the year 1791, and remained in that country about a twelvemonth. He had hailed the French Revolution with feelings of enthusiastic admiration.
• His move to Rydal was marked by an incident of considerable importance in his personal history. Through the influence of the Earl of Lonsdale, he was appointed distributor of stamps in the county of Westmoreland, which added greatly to his income without engrossing all of his time. He was now placed beyond the frowns of Fortune--if Fortune can ever be said to have frowned on one so independent of her smiles. The subsequent works of the poet were numerous--"The White Doe of Rylstone, " a romantic narrative poem, yet colored with his peculiar genius; "Sonnets on the River Duddon" "The Waggoner; " "Peter Bell; " "Ecclesiastical Sketches; " "Yarrow Revisited, " and others. His fame was extending rapidly. The universities of Durham and Oxford conferred academic honors upon him. Upon the death of his friend Southey, in 1843, he was made Poet Laureate of England, and the crown gave him a pension of per annum. Thus his income was increased and honors were showered upon him, making glad the closing years of his life. But sadness found its way into his household in 1847, caused by the death of his only daughter, Dora, then Mrs. Quillinan. Wordsworth survived the shock but three years, having reached the advanced age of eighty, always enjoying robust health and writing his poems in the open air. He died in 1850, on the anniversary of St. George, the patron saint of England. Biography from: http: //www. 2020 site. org/poetry/index. html
The Ostrich by Ogden Nash • The ostrich roams the great Sahara. Its mouth is wide, its neck is narra. It has such long and lofty legs, I'm glad it sits to lay its eggs.
Ode To A Baby By Ogden Nash A bit of talcum Is always walcum.
The Rhinoceros by Ogden Nash The rhino is a homely beast, For human eyes he’s not a feast, But you and I will never know Why Nature chose to make him so. Farewell, farewell, you old rhinoceros, I’ll stare at something less prepoceros.
• Ogden Nash was an American poet whose verse was light, whimsical and often nonsensical. One of his best-known poems, "Reflections on Ice. Breaking, " goes like this: Candy / Is dandy / But liquor / Is quicker. Nash grew up in New York and Georgia and spent a year studying at Harvard (1921). In the early 1930 s he was a staff editor and frequent contributor to The New Yorker magazine, but left to devote his time to writing full-time. He published children's books and several popular collections of poetry, and earned a reputation as a master at wordplay. During the 1940 s and '50 s Nash was a frequent guest on television game shows and he was a popular lecturer throughout his career.
Rain By Shel Siverstein
• Shel Silverstein was born in 1932 in Chicago, Illinois. He started drawing and writing in his early teens because, according to him, he was not popular with the girls and was not good at sports. He did not have a lot of influences when he started to write and draw. But as he told Jean F. Mercier of Publishers Weekly, "I was also lucky that I didn't have anyone to copy, be impressed by. I had developed my own style. " Indeed, that style is what has made him what some call a "literary cult figure. "Silverstein served with the U. S. armed forces in the 1950 s, spending time in Korea and Japan. While in the service he drew cartoons for the Pacific Stars and Stripes. In 1952, he began his career as a writer and cartoonist for Playboy magazine. He was introduced to the distinguished book editor at Harper and Brothers, Ursula Nordstrom, who convinced him he could write for children.
Many of his poems are adapted from his song lyrics, and the influence of his song-writing background is apparent in the poems' meters and rhythms. Silverstein died at his home in Key West, Florida on May 10, 1999.
Monday’s Child is Fair of Face
Humanity by Elma Stuckey
• Elma Stuckey was a former schoolteacher who won acclaim late in life with her poetry about black Americans from the time of slavery to the present and who published her second volume of poems at age 80. Mrs. Stuckey's first poetry collection, ''The Big Gate, '' was published in 1976, when she was 69 years old. Eric D. Hirsch Jr. , Kenan Professor of English at the University of Virginia, said her second volume, ''The Collected Poems of Elma Stuckey, '' established her ''in the canon of American poetry. '' In this work Mrs. Stuckey wrote about the lives of black Americans from the past to the present, and their migrations from South to North and from rural to urban America. Although she wrote poetry all of her life, she concentrated on it after retiring at the age of 60 as a supervisor in the Illinois Department of Labor. Mrs. Stuckey had been a teacher in the South. After she moved to Chicago in 1945, she worked as a hat-checker and a maid before joining the state labor department.
Fog by Carl Sandburg
• Carl Sandburg worked from the time he was a young boy. He quit school following his graduation from eighth grade in 1891 and spent a decade working a variety of jobs. He delivered milk, harvested ice, laid bricks, threshed wheat in Kansas, and shined shoes in Galesburg's Union Hotel before traveling as a hobo in 1897. Sandburg's experiences working and traveling greatly influenced his writing and political views. He saw first-hand the sharp contrast between rich and poor, a dichotomy that instilled in him a distrust of capitalism.
Clouds by Christina Rossetti
Christina Rossetti was born in London, one of four children of Italian parents. Her father was the poet Gabriele Rossetti; her brother Dante Gabriel Rossetti also became a poet and a painter. Rossetti's first poems were written in 1842 and printed in the private press of her grandfather. In 1850, under the pseudonym Ellen Alleyne, she contributed seven poems to the Pre-Raphaelite journal The Germ, which had been founded by her brother William Michael and his friends. Rossetti is best known for her ballads and her mystic religious lyrics. Her poetry is marked by symbolism and intense feeling. Rossetti's best-known work, Goblin Market and Other Poems, was published in 1862. The collection established Rossetti as a significant voice in Victorian poetry. The Prince's Progress and Other Poems, appeared in 1866 followed by Sing-Song, a collection of verse for children, in 1872 (with illustrations by Arthur Hughes). By the 1880 s, recurrent bouts of Graves' disease, a thyroid disorder, made Rossetti an invalid, and ended her attempts to work as a governess. While the illness restricted her social life, she continued to write poems.
Things by Eloise Greenfield Went to the corner Walked in the store Bought me some candy Ain’t got it no more Went to the beach Played on the shore Built me a sandhouse Ain’t got it no more Went to the kitchen Lay down on the floor Made me a poem Still got it
• loise Greenfield was born in Parmele, North Carolina, on May 17, 1929. While she was still an infant, her family moved to Washington, D. C. , where she has lived ever since. Ms. Greenfield studied piano as a child and teenager. She loved music, movies, and books. She began a search for satisfying work in her early twenties and found it in writing. Marriage, two children (named Monica and Steve), and a full time civil service job might have made another person abandon writing, but Eloise Greenfield discovered, along with her love for moving words around on paper, a purpose. There were far too few books that told the truth about African. American people. Ms. Greenfield wanted to change that. Her writing — indeed her every activity within the African-American community — has reflected the seriousness of her involvement. The many honors she has received — including the 1990 Recognition of Merit Award presented by the George G. Stone Center for Children's Books in Claremont, California; and an honorary degree from Wheelock College in Boston, Massachusetts — are testimony to the skill she brings to advancing her goals. In addition to writing herself, Eloise Greenfield has found time to work with other writers. She headed the Adult Fiction and Children's Literature divisions of the D. C. Black Writers' Workshop (now defunct), a group whose goal was to encourage the writing and publishing of Africa-American literature. She has given free workshops on the writing of African-American literature for children, and, under grants from the D. C. Commission on the Arts.
Dreams by Langston Hughes Hold fast to dreams For if dreams die Life is a Broken-winged bird That cannot fly Hold fast to dreams For when dreams go Life is a barren field Frozen with snow
• Until the first part of the 20 th Century, the world of poetry was dominated by caucasian artists. White poetry written about the experiences of white people was the only kind of verse most folks had ever heard. With the advent of the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920 s, this relatively genteel world of American poetry was shaken to its foundations. Strong black voices, writing with African. American rhythms and cadences, broke out all over the country. Of this remarkable creative outpouring, one voice rose among all of the rest. This was the voice of poet Langston Hughes was born in Joplin, Missouri, in 1902 to a family of abolitionists. His grandfather was Charles Henry Langston, the brother of John Mercer Langston, who was the first black American to be elected to public office in 1855. After high school, Hughes went on to Columbia University to study engineering, but soon dropped out to pursue his first love — poetry. He never looked back. The poetry Hughes crafted over the course of his lifetime was filled with rhythm and beat. His stanzas weave wildly smooth tunes about life as a black American. Indeed, Hughes always acknowledged that his primary poetic influences were the blues bars of Harlem and D. C. . He once remarked "blues had the pulse beat of the people who keep on going. "
Afternoon on a Hill by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Edna ST. Vincent Millay
• Edna St. Vincent Millay was born in Rockland, Maine, the daughter of Henry Tolman Millay, a school principal, and Cora Lounella (Buzzelle) Millay. (Millay's middle name derived from the French priest St. Vincent de Paul. ) Her father had a weakness for poker playing, and although he deserted his family, Millay kept contact with him. After divorce in 1900, Cora Millay moved with her three daughters, Edna, Norma, and Kathleen, to Camden, into a small house in the poorest part of the town. To support her family she worked as a district nurse and was often away on assignment. Trained to be a singer, she coached town orchestras and wrote out scores for their members. She also encouraged her daughters in their musical and poetic ambitions, and taught Edna to write poetry at the age of five. Millay was forced to work during her school years. When Carolyn B. Dow of the National Training School of the YWCA took her as her protegée, she was able to go to college. After preparatory work at Barnard College, she entered Vassar, receiving her B. A. in 1917. After graduation Millay moved to New York and settled in Greenwich Village, where she associated with many of the prominent artists, writers and political radicals. She died alone at home, on October 19, 1950, after falling down the stairs and breaking her neck
Concord Hymn by Ralph Waldo Emerson • By the rude bridge that arched the flood, Their flag to April's breeze unfurled, Here once the embattled farmers stood, And fired the shot heard round the world. The foe long since in silence slept; Alike the conqueror silent sleeps; And Time the ruined bridge has swept Down the dark stream which seaward creeps. On this green bank, by this soft stream, We set to-day a votive stone; That memory may their deed redeem, When, like our sires, our sons are gone. Spirit, that made those heroes dare To die, and leave their children free, Bid Time and Nature gently spare The shaft we raise to them and thee.
Ralph Waldo Emmerson
• Ralph Waldo Emerson was born on 25 May 1803 in the Puritan New England town of Boston, Massachusetts to Ruth née Haskins (d. 1853) and Unitarian minister William Emerson (d. 1811). Young Ralph had a strict but loving upbringing in the household of a minister who died when he was just eight years old. It was the first of many untimely deaths of Emerson's relatives. While his father had died young, he was very close to his mother, siblings, and Aunt Mary Moody who had a great and positive influence on his intellectual growth. Early on young Waldo as he like to be called started keeping journals and later would base many of his essays on his thoughts and observations expressed therein. While his writings were sometimes criticised as being too abstract, he was an eloquent and popular speaker.