Thursday, September 2, 2010

In Memory of Mary Helen Brittan Serna

The following poetry collections have been donated to the library in loving memory of Mary Helen Brittan Serna, who was a lover of travel, poetry and fine literature.

"Virtually every baby boomer who cares about contemporary poetry first made its acquaintance in one of the little square paperbacks Lawrence Ferlinghetti started publishing out of his San Francisco bookstore, City Lights, in 1955. Together, those slim volumes of dedicatedly modernist, often Beat, and generally avant-garde verse comprise the Pocket Poets series. A few pages from each of the first 52 titles in the series appear in this sampler. The poets include Ginsberg, O'Hara, Levertov, Kerouac, di Prima, Bly, etc., etc.--a who's who of postWorld War II American modernism--as well as their great inspirer, William Carlos Williams, and such foreign counterparts as Voznesensky and Parra, such foreign forebears as Mayakovsky and Picasso (yes, poems by him). Of course, what we have here is a moment in cultural time, that of the 1950s1960s avant-garde; the next generation of new poets published elsewhere. But what a rich moment it is, one that belongs in every American library." ~ Booklist

Poetry is the literary journal of the poetry world. To be published in Poetry is to have a gold star on your resume. This collection offers up some 600 poems spanning a century of wonderful work from classics such as E.E. Cummings, Ezra Pound, and Sylvia Plath, to more contemporary stars of the poetry world like Yusef Komunyakaa and Billy Collins. This collection offers up the cream of the crop from the 20th century.

This volume contains more than 1600 poems drawn from dozens of languages and cultures, and spans a period of more than 4000 years from ancient Sumer and Egypt to the late twentieth century. World Poetry encompasses the many worlds of poetry, poetry of all styles, of all eras, of all tongues: from the ancient epic of Gilgamesh and the Pharaoh Akhnaten's "Hymn to the Sun" to the haiku of Basho and the dazzling imagery of Li Po; from Vedic hymns to Icelandic sagas to the "Carmina Burana"; from the magnificence of Homer and Dante to the lyricism of Goethe and Verlaine; from the piercing insights of Rilke and Yeats to the revelatory verse of Emily Dickinson, Garcia Lorca, Derek Walcott, Seamus Heaney, and many more.

These books will round out our poetry collection nicely. Thank you Jane, for the donation!

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