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National Poetry Month

Poetry can be celebrated the year-round, but especially so in April. Established in April 1996, National Poetry Month brings together poets and booksellers, literary organizations and publishers to celebrate the importance of poetry and its vital place in American culture. We at the Canton Public Library would like to participate by showcasing our many poetry resources in this Special Collection.

Timeless Poetry Collections

The best-loved poems of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis by selected and introduced by Caroline Kennedy — Jaccqueline's daughter offers a selection of the former First Lady's favorite poems, plus a few of her mother's own verses.

The hell with love: poems to mend a broken heart by edited by Mary D. Esselman and Elizabeth Ash Velez — This collection of love poems is for anyone who has ever suffered the pain of breaking up and everyone who believes in the unique power of poetry to console and transform.

My song is beautiful: poems and pictures in many voices by selected by Mary Ann Hoberman — Fourteen poems celebrate the power of childhood from the perspective of a rich variety of cultures.

All Time Great Poets

Blake, William (1757-1827): Blake was one of the great lyric poets. His early work was in a classical style and his later work was marked by the romantic style made popular by Wordsworth and Coleridge.

Browning, Robert (1812-1889): Robert Browning was a English poet and dramatist, especially noted for perfecting the dramatic monologue. Although Although he did not enjoy huge popularity during his time, he is now regarded as one of the most creative poets of his time.

Burns, Robert (1756-1796): Robert Burns was born in Scotland. Sometimes referred to as a peasant poet, Burns worked with simple concepts, but applied them across a number of forms. He wrote and published satires, scenes of rustic life, epistles to friends, epigrams and nature poems, both in a composite poetic form made up of a number of Scottish dialects and in English.

Byron, George (1788-1824): Byron was a romantic and satirist. At the forefront of the Romantic Movement, he had a profound influence on English literature.

Coleridge, Samuel Taylor (1772-1834): English lyrical poet, critic, and philosopher, Coleridge, along with Wordsworth, was one of the founders of the Romantic Movement. The exquisite perfection of his meter, the subtle alliance of his thought and expression, and his anticipation of modern existentialism, has also gained him reputation as an authentic visionary

Dickinson, Emily (1830-1886): Dickinson's poetry reflected her loneliness and deep inner struggle as well as her recollection of inspirational moments. She and Walt Whitman, at opposite ends of the spectra of "poet" and "personality," are now regarded as the founders of a uniquely American poetic voices of the 19th century.

Eliot, T. S. (1888-1965): Elliot's poems stand out for their radical innovations in poetic technique and subject matter. His poems in many respects articulated the disillusion of a younger post-World-War-I generation with the values and convention of the Victorian era.

Keats, John (1795-1821): One of England's greatest poets, Keats was a key element in the Romantic Movement. Known especially for his love of the country and sensuous descriptions of the beauty of nature, his poetry also resonated with deep philosophic questions.

Longfellow, Henry W. (1807-1882): Longfellow, an American poet and linguist, was probably the best loved of all American poets. The attraction of his poetry is its melodic quality, its spirit of optimism and faith in the goodness of life.

Mare, Walter de la (1873-1956): English poet, novelist, anthologist, and writer for children, Mare's favorite themes include childhood, fantasy, mystery and dreams often with an undercurrent of melancholy.

Plath, Sylvia (1932-1963): An American poet, Plath's poetry is intensely personal, often based on everyday experiences. Most of her work had almost an ominous style of writing filled with passiveness and fatalism.

Shakespeare, William (1564-1616): Shakespeare, an English poet and dramatist, is regarded as the greatest of all dramatists. Shakespeare used poetic and dramatic means to create unified aesthetic effects. His ability to communicate the intricacies of human nature maintains a resonance and a power to evoke emotion of the readers of all time.

Shelley, Percy (1792-1822): Shelley, the English lyric poet and essayist, created masterpieces of Romantic poetry. His most characteristic image is of sky and weather, of lights and fires. His poetic stance invites the reader to respond with similar outgoing aspiration.

Whitman, Walt (1819-1892): American poet and journalist Whitman was the first American poet to achieve a truly international reputation. He invented free verse, a new kind of poetry, full of great personal and political feeling, making use of the vigorous rhythms of both everyday speech and Bible.

Wordsworth, William (1770-1850): Wordsworth was a defining member of the English Romantic Movement. The universal appeal of his poetry is perhaps best explained by his own words on the role of poetry what he called "the most philosophical of all writing" whose object is "truth… carried alive into the heart by passion".

Yeats, William Butler (1865-1939): Yeats, an Irish poet and dramatist, is one of the most widely read. Yeats's poetry has a unique musical quality and his verse a harbinger of magazines.