Novels in Verse

When I recently read A Time to Dance, I remembered again how much I enjoy reading books written in free verse. This has become an increasingly popular writing style in books for readers of all ages. Here are a few that I would definitely recommend to readers who want to try something a little bit different.

For younger elementary school readers:

Applesauce Weather by Helen Frost Love That Dog by Sharon Creech Gone Fishing by Tamera Will Wissinger

For older elementary or middle grade readers:

Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai Booked by Kwame Alexander Forget Me Not by Ellie Terry

For Teens or Adult readers:

Collateral by Ellen Hopkins The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo Bull by David Elliott

Special mention must be made of two of my favorite writers who write in verse. Helen Frost is a Hoosier author who has written a wide variety of books for children including non-fiction, chapter books, and picture books. I am in awe of the variety of poetic forms she uses in her novels, and I have learned to look for the author’s note in the back that explains what she’s done. For example, in Diamond Willow, the story is told in diamond-shaped poems that contain a secret message revealed by the bold text. In The Braid, the characters’ voices are braided together by echoing words and rhythms.

Diamond Willow by Helen Frost Salt by Helen Frost The Braid by Helen Frost

I became a Margarita Engle fan when I read The Poet Slave of Cuba, a biography written in verse. In addition to numerous picture books, Engel has written a memoir in verse as well as historical novels set in Cuba and Panama.

The Lightning Dreamer by Margarita Engle The Poet Slave of Cuba by Margarita Engle Enchanted Air by Margarita Engle

5 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month! Check out these ideas on how to celebrate!

1. Create Book Spine Poetry

Stack up a pile of books to create a poem with the titles. You can use your own books, or books you’ve checked out from the library. You can use the one we made for inspiration!

2. Learn About the Types of Poems

If you’re new to poetry, try out A Beginner’s Guide to the Different Types of Poems from Book Riot. This breaks down 15 different poem forms. If you’re a little more versed in the world of poetry, check out this List of 168 Poetic Forms for Poets from Writer’s Digest. No matter which list you look at, you’ll be writing like a poet in no time!

3. Research Indiana’s Poet Laureate

Most states in the United States have a poet laureate. The poets laureate make public appearances at poetry readings or literary events, and promote awareness of poetry within their geographical region. Indiana’s poet laureate, Matthew Graham, is currently serving his two year term. Graham has lived in southern Indiana for 35 years and is a respected and recognized writer, teacher, and advocate for poetry and the arts. You can learn more about him HERE.

4. Get a Poem in Your Inbox Every Day

Head over to poets.org to sign up for their Poem-A-Day series, an original daily poetry series publishing new work by contemporary poets! Poem-a-Day is the original and only daily digital poetry series featuring over 250 new, previously unpublished poems by today’s talented poets each year. Sign up and you’ll receive a poem in your inbox every day!

5. Check Out Some Poetry From the Library

Check out the display in the stairwell this month at APL for books of poetry, or look for books beginning with the numbers 811 in the nonfiction section. Ask any staff member and they’ll help you find what you’re looking for as well!

Take a look at some of our titles!

            

 

 

No Fear Shakespeare

Have you ever wanted to give Shakespeare a try, but soon realized you couldn’t understand anything on the page? Is your English teacher making you read Macbeth, but you’re unsure what you’re reading? Are you tired of missing the entire Shakespeare category on Jeopardy? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then No Fear Shakespeare is for you! No Fear Shakespeare gives you the complete Shakespearean text on the left-hand side with an easy to understand translation on the right! APLD has fifteen Shakespeare plays in this format, as well as a book dedicated solely to his sonnets. The days of not understanding Shakespeare are in the past with No Fear Shakespeare! Get ready to impress your friends with all your Shakespearean knowledge! Check out the examples below of the titles we have available at the library! Click on a book cover to learn more!

 

Hamlet

Original Text

To be or not to be? That is the question-
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And, by opposing, end them? To die, to sleep-
No more- and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to- ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished! To die, to sleep.
To sleep, perchance to dream.

 

 

No Fear Shakespeare Translation

The question is: is it better to be alive or dead? Is it nobler to put up with all the nasty things that luck throws your way, or to fight against all those troubles by simply putting an end to them once and for all? Dying, sleeping—that’s all dying is—a sleep that ends all the heartache and shocks that life on earth gives us—that’s an achievement to wish for. To die, to sleep—to sleep, maybe to dream.

 

Macbeth

Original Text

Out, damned spot! Out, I say!—One, two.
Why, then, ’tis time to do ’t. Hell is murky!—
Fie, my lord, fie! A soldier, and afeard?
What need we fear who knows it, when
none can call our power to account?—Yet
who would have thought the old man to
have had so much blood in him.

 

 

 

No Fear Shakespeare Translation

Come out, damned spot! Out, I command you! One, two. OK, it’s time to do it now.—Hell is murky!—Nonsense, my lord, nonsense! You are a soldier, and yet you are afraid? Why should we be scared, when no one can lay the guilt upon us?—But who would have thought the old man would have had so much blood in him?

 

King Lear

Original Text

Turn all her mother’s pains and benefits
To laughter and contempt, that she may feel—
That she may feel
How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is
To have a thankless child.—Away, away!

 

 

 

 

No Fear Shakespeare Translation

Let it be a wicked child who mocks the mother who cares for it. Make my daughter feel—make her feel how an ungrateful child hurts worse than a snakebite.—Now let’s leave. Go!

 

Julius Caesar

Original Text

Men at some time are masters of their fates.
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.
Brutus and Caesar—what should be in that “Caesar”?
Why should that name be sounded more than yours?
Write them together, yours is as fair a name.
Sound them, it doth become the mouth as well.

 

No Fear Shakespeare Translation

Men can be masters of their fate. It is not destiny’s fault, but our own faults, that we’re slaves. “Brutus” and “Caesar.” What’s so special about “Caesar”? Why should that name be proclaimed more than yours? Write them together—yours is just as good a name. Pronounce them—it is just as nice to say.

 

Romeo and Juliet

Original Text

But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief,
That thou, her maid, art far more fair than she.

 

No Fear Shakespeare Translation

But wait, what’s that light in the window over there? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun. Rise up, beautiful sun, and kill the jealous moon . The moon is already sick and pale with grief because you, Juliet, her maid, are more beautiful than she.

 

Midsummer Night’s Dream

Original Text

Love can transpose to form and dignity.
Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind.
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.

 

 

No Fear Shakespeare Translation

Love can make worthless things beautiful. When we’re in love, we don’t see with our eyes but with our minds. That’s why paintings of Cupid, the god of love, always show him as blind.

 

Much Ado About Nothing

Original Text

He that hath a beard
is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than
a man; and he that is more than a youth is not for me, and
he that is less than a man, I am not for him. Therefore I will
even take sixpence in earnest of the bearherd, and lead his
apes into hell.

 

No Fear Shakespeare Translation

If he has a beard, he’s more than a boy; if he doesn’t have a beard, he’s less than a man. If he’s more than a boy, he’s not the one for me, and if he’s less than a man, I’m not the one for him. They say that women who die unmarried are destined to lead the apes to hell, and I suppose that’ll be my fate as well.

 

Check out our other No Fear Shakespeare titles!

                      


                     


                    

It’s National Limerick Day!

Did you know that May 12th is National Limerick Day? A limerick is a type of poetry, usually humorous and frequently rude, that uses anapestic meter and follows an AABBA rhyming scheme. To help give you a better understanding of how they work, here’s a limerick about limericks.

Gershon Legman, who compiled the largest and most scholarly anthology of limericks, held that the true limerick as a folk form is always obscene. He described the clean limerick as a “periodic fad and object of magazine contests, rarely rising above mediocrity.” However, Edward Lear, who was widely considered the father of limericks, wrote numerous comical, nonsensical, clean limericks that are extremely popular and well known. Here is one of his most well known limericks, “There was an Old Man with a Beard.”

Here’s another limerick to help you celebrate National Limerick Day!

Maine author Bette Stevens has a terrific double limerick about Monarch butterflies on her blog.

 

This blog also has a nice link to a page by Kenn Nesbitt on how to write a limerick.

 

 

 

 

 

All these fun limericks inspired me to write my own about the library! However, I quickly realized “library” is hard to rhyme. So please enjoy my limerick about not being able to rhyme library.

Poets that Changed Me

As a young woman on the cusp of learning who she really is, Rupi and Amanda have both guided me on that journey. Some people say words have the power to change you, and I agree. Rupi and Amanda both write beautiful poetry meant to inspire and strengthen women to become better versions of ourselves. Their poetry is unique and beautiful and they both touch my heart.

Written By: Rupi Kaur

Rupi Kaur self-published her debut, Milk and Honey. The book has sold more than 2.5 million copies worldwide since its re-release. From poems of love and heartbreak, to poems of womanhood and self care, Rupi Kaur sheds light on vital topics for women today. Kaur’s poetry is straightforward without the hassle of agonizing over every complicated word and line. In an article with Rolling Stone magazine, she stated: “I’ve realized, it’s not the exact content that people connect with…People will understand and they’ll feel it because it all just goes back to the human emotion. Sadness looks the same across all cultures, races, and communities. So does happiness and joy.”

 

 

 

 

Written By: Amanda Lovelace

Amanda Lovelace‘s poetry is brutally honest. Her debut novel, The Princess Saves Herself in This One, is a collection of poetry filled with the truth of her pain, her subtle strength, and her quiet resilience. The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One is filled with fire and anger. Both books incorporate women power within them as well as the # MeToo movement. All the books in her series, Women are Some Kind of Magic, take the most recognized female characters-princesses, witches, and mermaids-and retell the narratives to make them empowered.

 

 

 

 

Both Rupi and Amanda capture hearts by weaving beautiful tales with their words. While both women are all about the women empowerment movement, they are both still quite unique and different. Their differences are what makes them great. They both evoke such powerful feelings inside their readers, that my heart either feels heavy reading their poems or light from reading their poems. Overall, the poems all interconnect and weave an incredible tale of the power within women.

 

Picture Credits: Emily the Book Addict

 

 

 

April Poet Birthdays

April is National Poetry Month.  

Here are a few famous poets who have April birthdays: 

 

Dr. Maya Angelou

Dr. Maya Angelou Quote

Poet, singer, author and civil rights activist Dr.Maya Angelou was born on April 4, 1928.  Angelou received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama in 2010.

The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou by Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou Poems

William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth Quote

English poet William Wordsworth was born on April 7, 1770.  Wordsworth helped to launch the “Romantic Age” of English literature.

Poems by William Wordsworth.  A selection edited by Edward Dowden.

Poems by William Wordsworth. A selection edited by Edward Dowden

 

Seamus Heaney

Seamus Heaney

Irish born playwright, poet and author Seamus Heaney was born on April 13, 1939.  Heaney won the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Station Island by Seamus Heaney

Station Island by Seamus Heaney

 

 

Etheridge Knight

Etheridge Knight

American Poet Etheridge Knight was born on April 18, 1931.

The Essential Etheridge Knight by Etheridge Knight

The Essential Etheridge Knight

 

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

Playwright and Poet William Shakespeare was born on April 23, 1564.

No Fear Shakespeare Sonnets

William Shakespeare Sonnets

 

Robert Penn Warren

Robert Penn Warren

Poet, novelist and literary critic Robert Penn Warren was born on April 24, 1905. Warren won Pulitzer prizes for his poetry and for his fiction writing.  

The Collected Poems of Robert Penn Warren

The Collected Poems of Robert Penn Warren P

 

Ted Kooser

Ted Kooser Quote

American Poet Ted Kooser was born April 25,1939.

House Held Up By Trees by Ted Kooser

House Held Up By Trees by Ted Kooser

 

Do you share an April birthday with one of these poets?  We’d love to hear in the comments below.

Happy Reading! 🙂

April is National Poetry Month

National Poetry month began in 1996.  Today it is considered “the largest literary celebration in the world” according to the Academy of American Poets website.

Here are a few ideas of how to celebrate National Poetry month:

  • Consider joining the Academy of American Poets “Poem a Day digital series.”    During the week, new and unpublished poems by current poets will arrive in your email.  On weekends  you will find classic poetry. This is a free service.
  • Check out the Academy of American Poets youtube channel.  The channel offers many poems to choose from.  Most of them are read by the authors themselves.   
  • Consider reading a poem a day each day for the month of April.  There are some great authors to help you get started.  

Where the Sidewalk Ends 

by Shel Silverstein

Where the Sidewalk EndsSilverstein opens this childhood classic with an invitation. “If you are a dreamer, come in, If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a hop-er, a prayer-er, a magic bean buyer..If you’re a pretender, come sit by my fire for we have some flax-golden tales to spin.  Come in! Come in”

The book is a collection of Silverstein’s poetry and drawings.

It’s Raining Pigs and Noodles

By Jack Prelutsky

Jack Prelutsky

This is a hilarious collection of Prelutsky’s poetry that children will love.  Filled with stories, puns, jokes, and tales of animals and make believe, this will soon become a childhood favorite.

Feel the Beat: Dance poems that zing from salsa to swing

By Marilyn Singer

Feel The Beat

This is a collection of poetry about dance.  There is an audio CD included that features the poet reading to the music for each dance mentioned.

Modern Day Poets:

Many times people think of poetry as being something old fashioned or dead.  Here are three modern day poets who will get you excited to read poetry again.  

Milk and Honey

By Rupi Kur

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

Rupi Kaur originally self published “Milk and Honey.”  The book had  a huge following and made it to the New York Times best seller list.  Kaur’s poetry talks about pain and how to navigate through life’s toughest moments. This is available as a digital download ebook through OverDrive

Stags Leap

By Sharon Olds

Stags Leap by Sharon Olds

This is a collection of poetry that was written during Olds’ divorce.  In her poems, she tackles issues such as the loss of love, sorrow and finding herself. Olds won the T.S. Elliot award for poetry for this book.   

The Surrender Tree : Poems of Cuba’s struggle for freedom

By Margarita Engle

The Surrender Tree by Margaritta Engle

 

Engle was awarded the  Newbery Honor Award for this book.  This book is a collection of poetry that  chronicles the struggles that Cuba has faced and the country’s continuing fight for freedom.

Do you have a favorite poem or a favorite poet?  We would love to hear in the comments below.

Happy Reading 🙂

Want or Need a Book We Don’t Have?

Both the Aurora Public Library and the Dillsboro Public Library have hundreds of books combined. Though our collection is quite extensive and filled with every kind of book, there’s no possible way to have every single book in the world ever published. So thankfully we have a service called Inter-library loan.

Our ILL service gives our members access to a much wider range of materials than normally possible.

 

WHO CAN USE OUR ILL SERVICE?

Any patron in good standing who has a membership that includes borrowing privileges.

 

WHAT CAN BE BORROWED?

Books, audio-books, movies, seasons, etc.

 

WHAT’S THE COST?

If we can get the item from within our state, there isn’t a charge!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Occasionally, we won’t be able to find an item and in this case any item received from out of state will carry a postage charge that depends on the material’s size and its weight. You are able to specify whether you’d like to avoid charges at the time of your request.

 

BEFORE PLACING A REQUEST:

If the desired material is part of our Library’s current collection, we will not borrow it from another library.

However, if we have a title in Large Print and you would like it to be in regular print, we are able to borrow the title that way. As well as wishing for a title that is in regular print in large print.

If the material is less than six months old, many libraries will not lend it out. In many cases, we will add the material to our collection request.

*A collection request is a database we keep for any books that you wish for the library to purchase that is newer than six months old. We may or may not purchase the material depending on a vary of reasons.

Many ILL’s will take 7-14 business days to arrive, if you need the material sooner than that, it may be wise to consider another alternative.

 

CHECKING OUT YOUR ILL:

When your loan has arrived, you will receive a notification from your preferred method (normally a phone call).

If you do receive a material from out of state, a charge will be placed on your account with an explanation.

Just like any other item within our collection, you will be responsible to return your item.

Late fees may apply.

 

AM I ABLE TO RENEW?

Occasionally, a library will allow a renewal. If you are in need of a renewal, please contact the Aurora Library or the Dillsboro Library before the date your item is due.

We can give up to a week renewal while waiting for a reply back from the current lending library.

 

RETURNING MY ILL:

Because the materials are owned by other Libraries, it is important to return the materials in a timely manner. The due dates are generally determined by the lending library and can be as long as a month or as short as two weeks. Any fines/fees due to the material being returned late will be determined by the lending library and will be charged to you.

 

If you know exactly what item you would like, you are more than welcome to fill out our form on our website or come in or call either branch to request an ILL today!

 

If you request a DVD, the DVD will not count towards our DVD limit.  This is the same for TV shows, as well.

Example: You request Lady Bird, and we receive the DVD from another library. You can still also check out two other DVD’s from our library.

 

 

National Great Poetry Reading Day

Saturday, April 28 is National Great Poetry Reading Day!

How can you celebrate?

For starters, you can visit one of the branches of the Aurora Public Library District and check out volumes of poetry by great poets, like John Keats, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Rupi Kaur, William Wordsworth, Sylvia Plath, Alfred Tennyson, Langston Hughes, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Frost, Shel Silverstein, and Maya Angelou, among many others. If you just want to browse the poetry section to see what you can find, start in section 808.1. You’ll be able to browse titles at your leisure and take ones that speak to you. Or, if you’d rather, you can visit the Indiana Digital Download Center and browse our digital poetry selections, too.

One major way that poetry differs from novels or nonfiction is that poetry begs to be read out loud. The only way to appreciate the cadence of the words on the page is to read them out loud and listen. On National Great Poetry Reading Day, gather some friends and family around and read your favorite poems aloud. Or record yourself reading your favorite poem and upload it to social media with #NationalGreatPoetryReadingDay. By following the hashtag, you’ll be able to see other poetry connoisseurs celebrating the day in their own way as well.

You could try your hand at writing your own poetry, too! If you want to follow the exact rules to write specific types of poetry, like haiku, sonnet, or limerick, we have titles with examples and instructions. But one of the best things about poetry is that, as you’re writing, you can decide how you want your idea to appear on the paper. Free verse is exactly that; free! You can choose to write your poem however you want.

Tell us how you’re going to celebrate National Great Poetry Reading Day! I’m going to see if I can find my old stuff from college from that poetry class I took.

Happy Reading!

Shakespeare Day!

To celebrate, or not to celebrate? That is the question, but the answer is: Of course! April 23 is National Shakespeare Day!

Baptized on April 26, 1564, William Shakespeare is widely considered to be the greatest writer of the English language, having works ranging from plays to poems, as well as being an actor himself. He was born in raised in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England. Not much is known about his early life except at the age of eighteen, he married the much-older Anne Hathaway and had three children with her. He traveled to London sometime between 1585 and 1592 and became a successful writer, actor, and part-owner of a playing company, Lord Chamberlain’s Men, later the King’s Men. He retired to Stratford around 1613, around the age of 49, where he died three years later.

Little else is known about Shakespeare, except that he wrote and produced 37 plays during his time in London, ranging from comedies, including Twelfth Night, As You Like It, and A Midsummer’s Night Dream, to historical dramas, like Richard III, Henry IV, V, and VI, to tragedies, such as Hamlet, Macbeth, and Titus Andronicus. He also wrote 154 sonnets as well as narrative poetry. Shakespeare set the bar that many other writers would follow, influencing generations of writers still today. If you’re interested in learning more about William Shakespeare, follow this link to books in our collection about his life.

So, how can the Aurora Public Library District help you celebrate National Shakespeare Day? Well, you can check out DVDs based on his plays and life, as well as modern retellings of his classic plays. I think it is important to read Shakespeare, but I think it is even more important to watch Shakespeare to really understand him. There is nothing quite like watching words on the page come to life before your eyes, in period costumes with facial expressions and vocal intonations to help you to really grasp the play.

You can also check out copies of his plays and poems to read for yourself, if you’d like to let the words wash over you and give yourself time to process what takes place in each scene, or what each poem is really trying to say. There are physical copies as well as digital copies through the Indiana Digital Download Center. The Aurora Public Library District has a collection of No Fear Shakespeare titles, which puts the original text side-by-side with modern-day language in order to make it easier to understand. This will definitely come in handy if you want more depth to the play.

I am continually amazed at how relevant the themes of the plays are to today, even though Shakespeare’s time was almost 500 years ago. The language might seem archaic, but if you dig deeper until you find the meaning behind the prose, you’ll be surprised, too. Shakespeare was a genius at capturing humans, from their words to the words they weren’t speaking, but that their body language, facial expressions, and tones would show. If you ever get the chance to see one of Shakespeare’s plays in person, I highly recommend that you take it.

How will you celebrate National Shakespeare Day? I think I’ll reread my favorite play, Hamlet, and then watch The Lion King, which is what the Disney movie is based off of. Pretty cool, huh?

Happy Reading!