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Celebrate American poetry at our Classics Book Discussion

Classics Book Discussion: American Poetry | Thursday, April 26, 7-8 p.m.

When was the last time you read a really great poem?

We have plenty of poetry fans in Deerfield, but I also talk to library patrons who feel like they never “got” poetry. Poetry, particularly classic poetry, can bring to mind boring lessons on archaic language, dissected for vague allusions and dubious meanings.

My go-to poem for these reluctant poetry readers is “Today” by Frank O’Hara, which begins, in a plain American vernacular,

Oh! kangaroos, sequins, chocolate sodas!

You really are beautiful!

How can you resist that exuberance? And if you don’t want to figure out what the poem “means,” don’t worry–O’Hara tells you in the final line. These everyday things, “do have meaning. They’re strong as rocks.”

It’s hard not to love a poem that just wants to celebrate and American poetry is full of infectious celebrations, from Walt Whitman’s “I celebrate myself,” to Lucille Clifton’s “won’t you celebrate with me?” This month, we’re celebrating National Poetry Month with a fun and lively discussion on a selection of classic American poems, from syllabus standbys to contemporary favorites.

Join us on Thursday, April 26, 7-8 p.m. for the second of our Classics Book Discussion series, and don’t forget to register. You can pick up a packet of our poem selections on the Holds Shelf, the Adult Services Desk, or download it here.

Our Classics Book Discussion series meets every quarter to discuss a book you were (supposed!) to read in school or a forgotten classic.

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