Old Favorites: Poetry

We’re focusing on newer books, movies, and television shows for 2019, but that doesn’t mean we’re entirely ignoring old favorites! After all, what’s that saying–what’s old may just become new again (or something like that)?

Later this week (March 21st to be exact) is World Poetry Day. Now, if you’re so inclined, you could definitely write some poems to commemorate this day, but if you’re like me and poetry-writing-impaired, then you’ll probably just have to settle for reading some good poetry instead.

And to that end, I can’t resist recommending a few of my favorite poets.

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Old Favorites: Arthur Miller

We’re focusing on newer books, movies, and television shows for 2019, but that doesn’t mean we’re entirely ignoring old favorites! After all, what’s that saying–what’s old may just become new again (or something like that)?

I’ve always loved reading plays–and especially mid-20th century American plays. My favorite playwright would probably be Tennessee Williams, but I also always enjoyed Arthur Miller’s work. Today marks 66 years since his play The Crucible premiered, and what better time to explore the life and career of this master of the American stage?

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Old Favorites: A Christmas Carol

We’re focusing on newer books, movies, and television shows for 2018, but that doesn’t mean we’re entirely ignoring old favorites! After all, what’s that saying–what’s old may just become new again (or something like that)?

Is it really Christmas until you’ve either read or watched or listened to A Christmas Carol? Tiny Tim and Scrooge have been a holiday tradition for over 175 years. In fact, December 19 marks the anniversary of its publication in 1843. In that first year, it had sold out by Christmas Eve, and it remains a perennial favorite even now.

And here at the library, we’ve got a variety of traditional and contemporary ways for you to enjoy A Christmas Carol.

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Old Favorites: Stephen Crane

We’re focusing on newer books, movies, and television shows for 2018, but that doesn’t mean we’re entirely ignoring old favorites! After all, what’s that saying–what’s old may just become new again (or something like that)?

November 1st marked the 147th anniversary of Stephen Crane’s birth. Crane’s life was tragically cut short by tuberculosis, but he still made a mark on modern American literature during his 28 years.

Fittingly for us to remember in the month that also commemorates Veterans Day (and the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I), Crane is probably best known for a war novel: the classic The Red Badge of Courage.

However, there is more to Crane’s work than just the story of a young Union soldier named Henry Fielding. . . .

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Old Favorites: Mary Shelley

We’re focusing on newer books, movies, and television shows for 2018, but that doesn’t mean we’re entirely ignoring old favorites! After all, what’s that saying–what’s old may just become new again (or something like that)?

August 30th marks the 221st birthday of English author Mary Shelley, and this year marks the 200th anniversary of her most famous book. She is best-known for her classic novel Frankenstein and her dysfunctional family life, but this daughter of two noted writers and wife of another is a fascinating literary and historical figure in her own right.

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Old Favorites: Jack London

We’re focusing on newer books, movies, and television shows for 2018, but that doesn’t mean we’re entirely ignoring old favorites! After all, what’s that saying–what’s old may just become new again (or something like that)?

This past week marked the 121st anniversary of a young man by the name of Jack London going north to Alaska to the Klondike Gold Rush. It was in Alaska that London first wrote his stories that would become famous. Since the heat and humidity here in Arkansas has been brutal this summer, you might want to follow Jack’s lead in spirit and seek some solace in his Alaskan adventures. 🙂

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Old Favorites: Ambrose Bierce

I was going to substitute this feature with something else about the Great American Read, but then I realized that Ambrose Bierce’s birthday was this coming Sunday and, well, I just had to pen an ode to one of my favorite writers, AKA Bitter Bierce, The Diabolical Bierce, The Wickedest Man in San Francisco, The Rascal with the Sorrel Hair, The Laughing Devil, and (last but not least) The Devil’s Lexicographer. (I think I hit all the high points and included all the nicknames.)

Now, these nicknames make Bierce seem like evil incarnate, but he wasn’t. Honest!

He was just really, really, really, really grouchy, even by 19th century standards. And according to biographers, he was a crotchety, eccentric kid, so maybe when he entered this world on June 24, 1842, in rural Ohio, he was already destined to be one of the world’s best known literary misanthropes. (Though certain life events certainly did help him along that path.)

If you know of Bierce, it is likely because his two most famous works: his delightfully mean Devil’s Dictionary and his haunting, surreal Civil War short story “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge.” These are both great, but there’s a lot more to Bierce than meets the eye. . . .

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