Our theme for the library this year is What a Wonderful World, and to that end, we’re focusing on seeing the wonder in our world. Usually, every month at the desk, we have an article available for patrons to read and discuss with Julie, our library director, but this year, we’re handing out poems instead. Our trusty library goose is also helping us pen a monthly column that focuses on some of the gems in our poetry collection.
For April, our poem is William Wordsworth’s “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud.” (What else could we pick for a month whose theme was daffodil yellow? 🙂 )
Wordsworth’s poem about a fond memory of seeing lovely daffodils on a walk with his sister is a justifiably famous one, and it is quite likely that, at some point in school, you read it in an English class.
For the previous entries in this series, I’ve highlighted poems with a connection to poetry books in our adult nonfiction section. But for this poem, I wanted to acknowledge that we have poetry in other parts of the library, including our children’s and teen’s sections!
In our YA section, we have a joint bio on the English Romantic poets (of which Wordsworth was a founding member) entitled Wildly Romantic: The English Romantic Poets—The Mad, The Bad, and The Dangerous. This book profiles the most famous (and notorious) of the Romantic poets: Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Wordsworth, and John Keats.
The bio isn’t a scholarly text and does abbreviate/oversimplify some details of their lives, but it is very successful at explaining why the Romantic poets’ work was so revolutionary at the time and illustrating that celebrity scandals and bad behavior aren’t new and aren’t just limited to rock stars and Hollywood.
It’s not all shenanigans, though! Each chapter is devoted to one of the poets and also features several of their poems. The end result is a perfect way for teens (and the young at heart) to learn about this highly influential period in literary history while also enjoying the poetry of the time.
Who is your favorite poet? What’s your favorite poem? Do you ever write poetry? Tell us in the comments! As always, please follow this link to our online library catalog for more information on this item or to place it on hold.