“Poetry surprises and deepens our sense of the ordinary. Poetry tells us that the world is full of wonder, revelation, consolation and meaning.” – Tracy K. Smith, U.S. Poet Laureate, 2017.
April is National Poetry Month, and we are celebrating at the Sugar Grove Public Library with displays of our materials and poetry books, an Open Mic Night at 6:30 p.m. April 18, where you may listen to the works of local authors, and a new exhibition for Gallery 125.
According to historical sources, poetry predates literacy in that the oral tradition was used to tell tales, share history, and convey stories both epic and tragic. Some of my favorite works have been written in poetic form, from Dante’s “Inferno” to John Milton’s “Paradise Lost.” Love poems can touch the soul, such as Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s “How Do I Love Thee” (Sonnet 43), or capture the spirit of America in the works of Walt Whitman or Robert Frost. Poetry is a way to communicate emotions, commemorate events or even give declarations of love. In the Fox Valley area, we are very lucky to have a significant body of local poets who create, share, publish and nurture each other, all the while honing their craft.
Gallery 125 will be honoring National Poetry month with a unique display from local author and poet Leo Zarko.
Zarko has published a variety of poetry books, as well as creative children’s books, and was recently given the award for 50 over 50 in Illinois by Crain’s Business in the division of culture. He is an avid art supporter and regularly contributes to and facilitates events that promote poetry and the spoken word. The exhibition, Reflective Moments, will feature unique poetry over thoughtful visual pictures. Patrons of all ages are invited to experience the collection. The display will be available through May.
Visit the library this month to learn more about poetry, or browse the 811 section, which is librarian Dewey Decimal code for the American poetry in English section. We promise we won’t make you rhyme your poetry questions as you visit our reference desks.
Shannon Halikias is the director of the Sugar Grove Public Library, a professor at College of DuPage, leads a local writing group and is an active outdoors lover with two rowdy boys. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Feedback on this column can be sent to email@example.com.