If you follow along here, you may have noticed that on Wednesdays I usually write something . . . about something I've made or am in the process of making. It's usually knitting, but sometimes sewing or maybe stitching-ish; sometimes painting or art-ish.
Today? I'm going to show you something different I've "made."
Today, I'm going to show you the poetry collection I've created in my home library.
(Because Poetry Month. . . )
So those top three shelves in the photo above . . . show my entire little poetry library. It's been growing gradually but steadily over the years. I've purchased most of the volumes of poetry myself, although several have been gifts I've been pleased to receive over the years. The first poetry volume I ever purchased is this (now dog-eared) Robert Frost collection.
That was back in college. It was not the first book in my collection, though. That would be this copy (photo below) of Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet. I loved Kahlil Gibran back in high school! So much that I checked this very copy out of my high school library - over and over again . . .
and never checked it back in! That wasn't intentional. In all the hub-bub of graduation, I forgot I had it. The school never asked about it. And then I was gone. Now, The Prophet is the most guilt-filled volume of poetry in my collection! (My apologies to libraries everywhere.) I removed the cover and the glued-in pocket inside the front cover, but the evidence remains.
. . . and moving on . . .
My personal poetry library is filled with all types of poetry volumes by a variety of poets. My favorites (Mary Oliver or Billy Collins, for example) fill a lot of space on my shelves. But my collection houses all kinds of new favorite poets, too.
During April each year, I try to purchase a few new volumes of poetry for my collection. I like to support books stores, poets, and poetry in general, and I think National Poetry Month is a perfect month to do that.
If you're interested in starting your own poetry collection, I suggest you start with a poet you already know you like . . . and build from there. If you don't have a specific poet you like, then maybe begin with an anthology instead. I think about it kind of like building a music collection . . .
New works by a single poet . . . are kind of like record albums featuring new music by a musical group or individual. It's usually all "new stuff," created and designed to work together -- maybe to tell a story or support a specific theme. Mary Oliver's Blue Horses or Billy Collins' The Rain in Portugal are examples of volumes of new works.
A collection of poetry by a single poet . . . is like a "greatest hits" album from musical artists. These poetry collections usually contain favorite, more well-known poems by a single poet, and provide a great resource for a deep dive into a specific poet's work. Mary Oliver's Devotions is an example, as is Billy Collins' Aimless Love. Usually the word "collection" appears in the title or subtitle. (Sometimes, usually after a poet has passed away, you can find "complete collections" which include the entirety of their life's work.)
A poetry anthology . . . is like a Spotify playlist. Anthologies contain a variety of work from a variety of poets, usually curated by an editor around a specific theme or time frame. Anthologies are great places to begin a poetry collection, and a perfect place to discover poets you enjoy (and want to read more deeply).
So. There you have it! A little poetry collection I've "made" for myself!
How about you? Do you have a poetry collection of your own?
(And in case you care not a whit about poetry, I'll be back next week with the shawl I showed you last week. Because it finished, and blocking as I write.)