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New Resource: Guide to Poetry Books We Read

Celebrating Poetry Month in April 2021 inspired us at Books We Read to develop a new library guide called Books We Read: Poetry. The guide offers suggested poems as well as secondary readings to deepen enjoyment and understanding of poetry.

We understand that reading poetry might look like a challenge. Many people think they don’t like poetry because they think they don’t “get it.” As it happens, enjoying poetry is easier than your classroom experience may have led you to believe, as is explained under the Why Poetry tab.

One of the main reasons that people don’t like poetry is that they think they aren’t appreciating it “correctly.” Nick compares that feeling to what a lot of people have at art museums: feeling like the thing you’re looking at should be speaking to you in some way, but it’s not, so you wind up feeling not just bored but also inadequate somehow. Read more about What is Poetry and Why Read it.

The guide is there for you to assist with the basics, such as figuring out the lingo of poetry. Please see links to glossaries and the history of poetry on the same page and library resources on reading and understanding poetry.

For a start, we recommend giving a try to anthologies. A collection of selected literary pieces, an anthology is a great way to survey poetry on a particular topic, from a particular place and time, or in a particular style––and perhaps to discover your new favorite poet! Check out our tips on how to find anthologies in the library or thematic collections online.

Under the Rutgers University Libraries resources, we have provided links and short descriptions of full-text resources, eBooks, literary magazines, and related guides. Our selection criteria included online access and recent editions, although searching for poetry resources is very different from science research, where the latest results are usually more important! It’s amazing how a poem written over two hundred years ago might speak to you.

If you are interested in trying poetry but you are not sure where to start, the Poets tab suggests some names to check out, including selected Rutgers poets and events at Rutgers that you may want to attend.

The current last tab offers you library Help, such as how to find a particular poem or eBooks, as well as general assistance from Rutgers Libraries. The word “current” is not a slip-up or a secret poetic device. We at Books We Read are getting ready to host the Summer Tales Book Club during the summer session again this summer as we did in 2020. One of the three sessions will focus on poetry, so we are adding more and more content to this guide!

Are you taking classes in the summer? Consider joining us for one or more sessions at the Summer Tales Book Club! You will receive the information from Summer Session. Until then, check out some of our posts from last year.