Memorial Hall Library will close at 5pm Monday, July 3rd and remain closed Tuesday, July 4th for Independence Day.

Memorial Hall Library

Massachusetts poets in the collection

It's National Poetry Month and we thought it would be fun to highlight some poets from our local area. Because Massachusetts is such a historic place, we have a lot of great poets to celebrate. Some of them are the heavy hitters that generations of students have studied and memorized in school like Emily Dickinson or Jack Kerouac. Refresh your memory with some of Massachusetts most famous poets or find a new favorite!

Anne Bradstreet
The Works of Anne Bradstreet  - Anne Bradstreet, the first true poet in the American colonies, wrote at a time and in a place where any literary creation was rare and difficult and that of a woman more unusual still. Born in England and brought up in the household of the Earl of Lincoln where her father, Thomas Dudley, was steward, Anne Bradstreet sailed to Massachusetts Bay in 1630, shortly after her marriage at sixteen to Simon Bradstreet. For the next forty years she lived in the New England wilderness, raising a family of eight, combating sickness and hardship, and writing the verse that made her, as the poet Adrienne Rich says in her Foreword to this edition, "the first non-didactic American poet, the first to give an embodiment to American nature, the first in whom personal intention appears to precede Puritan dogma as an impulse to verse."

Elizabeth Bishop
The complete poems, 1927 - 1979 - Highly regarded throughout her prestigious literary career, and today seen as an undeniable master of her art, Elizabeth Bishop remains one of America's most influential and widely acclaimed poets. This is the definitive collection of her work. The Complete Poems includes the books North & South, A Cold Spring, Questions of Travel, and Geography III, as well as previously uncollected poems, translations, and juvenilia.

e. e. cummings
Complete poems 1904-1962Combining Thoreau’s controlled belligerence with the brash abandon of an uninhibited bohemian, E. E. Cummings, together with Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, and William Carlos Williams, helped bring about the twentieth-century revolution in literary expression. Today Cummings is recognized as the author of some of the most sensuous lyric poems in the English language, as well as one of the most inventive American poets of his time. Formally fractured and yet gleefully alive and whole, at once cubistic and figurative, Cummings’s work expanded the boundaries of what language is and can do.

 

Emily Dickinson
Selected poems - Emily Dickinson lived as a recluse in Amherst, Massachusetts, dedicating herself to writing a "letter to the world"--the 1,775 poems left unpublished at her death in 1886. Today, Dickinson stands in the front rank of American poets. This enthralling collection includes more than four hundred poems that were published between Dickinson's death and 1900. They express her concepts of life and death, of love and nature, and of what Henry James called "the landscape of the soul." And as Billy Collins suggests in his Introduction, "In the age of the workshop, the reading, the poetry conference and festival, Dickinson reminds us of the deeply private nature of literary art."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Collected poems & translations -  Contains Emerson's published poetry, plus selections of his unpublished poetry from journals and notebooks, and some of his translations of poetry from other languages, most notably Dante's La vita nuova.
Jack Kerouac
Book of blues - Best known for his "Legend of Duluoz" novels, including On the Road and The Dharma Bums, Jack Kerouac is also an important poet. In these eight extended poems, Kerouac writes from the heart of experience in the music of language, employing the same instrumental blues form that he used to fullest effect in Mexico City Blues, his largely unheralded classic of postmodern literature. Edited by Kerouac himself, Book of Blues is an exuberant foray into language and consciousness, rich with imagery, propelled by rythm, and based in a reverent attentiveness to the moment.
Robert Lowell
Collected poems - Frank Bidart and David Gewanter have compiled the definitive edition of Robert Lowell's work, from his first, impossible-to-find collection, Land of Unlikeness; to the early triumph of Lord Weary's Castle, winner of the 1946 Pulitzer Prize; to the brilliant willfulness of his versions of poems by Sappho, Baudelaire, Rilke, Montale, and other masters in Imitations; to the late spontaneity of The Dolphin, winner of another Pulitzer Prize; to his last, most searching book, Day by Day. This volume also includes poems and translations never previously collected, and a selection of drafts that demonstrate the poet's constant drive to reimagine his work. Collected Poems at last offers readers the opportunity to take in, in its entirety, one of the great careers in twentieth-century poetry.
Sylvia Plath
Ariel: the restored edition When Sylvia Plath died, she not only left behind a prolific life but also her unpublished literary masterpiece, Ariel. When her husband, Ted Hughes, first brought this collection to life, it garnered worldwide acclaim, though it wasn't the draft Sylvia had wanted her readers to see. This facsimile edition restores, for the first time, Plath's original manuscript -- including handwritten notes -- and her own selection and arrangement of poems. This edition also includes in facsimile the complete working drafts of her poem "Ariel," which provide a rare glimpse into the creative process of a beloved writer. This publication introduces a truer version of Plath's works, and will no doubt alter her legacy forever.

John Updike
Collected poems, 1953-1993 - Nature—tenderly intricate, ruthlessly impervious—is a constant and ambiguous presence in these poems, along with the social observation one would expect in a novelist.  No occasion is too modest or too daily to excite metaphysical wonder, or to provoke a lyrical ingenuity of language.  Yet even the wittiest of the poems are rooted to the ground of experience and fact.  “Seven Odes to Seven Natural Processes” attempt to explicate the physical world with a directness seldom attempted in poetry.  Several longer poems—“Leaving Church Early,” “Midpoint”—use autobiography to proclaim the basic strangeness of existence.

Read about other poets of the North Shore and Merrimack Valley in The North Shore Literary Trail: from Bradstreet's Andover to Hawthorne's Salem - You've devoured their pages of verse and prose--now witness firsthand the inspiration for those perfectly penned lines of Longfellow, Frost and Harriet Beecher Stowe. Discover the strong feminist voice of Judith Sargent Murray as you stroll down Middle Street in Gloucester, or navigate the narrow, winding streets of Marblehead and flip through the eighteenth-century journals of the sailor Ashley Bowen. Plan a literary-themed cultural outing or simply take a closer look at your town's local landmarks. From the "gem-emblazoned shore" of "lovely Lynn" to the gleaming gables in Hawthorne's Salem, Bierfelt uncovers some of the North Shore's most precious literary treasures.

 

For poetry events this month we will be hosted a lecture by Shakespeare scholar and educator Julia Perlowski as she talks about "Shakespeare's Words," on Sunday April 23 at 2:00pm in Memorial Hall. Additionally, our Teen Poetry Contest reception is Wednesday May 3, at 7:00pm and is open to the public. Come hear the next generation of Andover poets!

Finally, look around the library for some poetry in surprising places! Can you find all the poems?