Poetry Is Hot – Again!

By Richard L. RSS Tue, October 2, 2018

Today, it seems that more Americans than ever before are writing poetry, participating in poetry slams, and entering poetry contests. But as we dive (back?) into poetry and draw inspiration from the great poets of yesteryear, it seems that some are being left out of the revival! Who knew it was possible to be both immortal and largely forgotten at the same time?

Among the luminaries that many of us no longer read are Dante Alighieri (1265-1321), the author of The Divine Comedy; Geoffrey Chaucer (1342-1400), “The Father of English Literature”; John Milton (1608-1674), who struggled with poverty and blindness to complete his epic “Paradise Lost”; and William Blake (1757-1827) who was dismissed by some of his contemporaries (but not current experts) as mad.

Here in the Central Senior Services Department within the Parkway Central Library, we’re trying to change that! One of our department’s key missions is to present a continuing series of compelling talks and lectures for older adults, and in October and November, we’ll be presenting a free, four-part lecture series called "Achieving Immortality: Four Great Poets and the Cultures that Shaped Them." The goal of this series is to help interested adults rediscover the lives and works of the incredible, oft-forgotten foursome mentioned above!

To help us facilitate the lectures, we’ve called on the experts! Joining us will be distinguished professors from Princeton University, Swarthmore College, the University of Delaware, and Saint Joseph’s University to serve as our speakers and guides:

  • On Wednesday, October 10 at 11:00 a.m., Professor Kristin Poole of the University of Delaware illuminates the life and work of John Milton. This program will be presented in Room 108 of the Parkway Central Library.
  • On Wednesday, October 24 at 11:00 a.m., Swarthmore College Professor Betsey Bolton will explore the world of William Blake. Please plan to join us in the 4th Floor Culinary Center at the Parkway Central Library.
  • On Wednesday, November 7 at 11:00 a.m., St. Joseph University Professor Paul Patterson helps us make important discoveries about Geoffrey Chaucer. We will return to Room 108 for this program.
  • On Sunday, November 11 at 2:00 p.m., the Distinguished Poet and Princeton University Professor Susan Stewart will discuss Dante’s landmark achievement. This program will be presented in the 4th Floor Skyline Room.

For additional information about this series, please contact Dick Levinson at levinsonr@freelibrary.org.

Other services provided by Central Senior Services include providing books for homebound Philadelphians, offering individual computer tutoring by appointment an extensive selection of large-print books, and the most comfortable chairs at Parkway Central! For additional information about our services, please call us during normal business hours at (215) 686-5331.

You can find more poetry resources in our Explore Topic and by browsing our catalog!

Have a question for Free Library staff? Please submit it to our Ask a Librarian page and receive a response within two business days.

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