Saturday, May 23, 2015

What’s so great about poetry?

Inspired by the finale of the fantastic South Yorkshire Poetry Festival, this weekend, we want to shout up about why we’re so passionate about poems.

If you feel that way too, we hope you'll call in and try something new. 

And if you're thinking of giving it another try, we've got lots of great titles to tempt you.

All of our suggestions are available to loan from your library.
Our poetry 'top 5'

We value verse in our every day life because it:

1.  Goes straight to the heart – poetry says more, and says it more intensely. It can change the way we see the world - and ourselves. When you're lost for the right words, it can help you find your voice.

Explore 'Essential poems from the Staying Alive trilogy' and see what speaks to you.  

Or, if 'matters of the heart' are on your mind, try 'The Picador book of love poems' - a collection that celebrates connections, from the classic to the contemporary.

To explore a love of landscape, try 'Stanza Stones' by Simon Armitage or start your own journey into poetry through tales of his travels in 'Walking Home.'

2. Makes you laugh – poetry doesn’t have to be serious.  It can be silly, irreverent and fun!  

Why not rediscover your inner child with a collection like Michael Rosen’s 'Book of Nonsense' (with or without your kids) or try Wendy Cope’s witty take on 'Family Values' to gain a new perspective on 'more mature' matters. 

3. Is Alive – at performances, slams and other live events, including in our libraries.  Why not try Kate Tempest’s 'Hold your Own'' to start your journey into spoken story? 

Or lose yourself in the lyrical lines of' Jarvis Cocker's 'Mother, Brother, Lover.'

And if you're a member of a reading group, make Helen Mort’s 'Division Street' your next set and discover an exciting new voice celebrating life in Sheffield. 
Poetry also lives on buildings across the city and you’ll find plenty in our public places. 
'X' by Michael Rosen - Parson Cross Library

Discover Roger McGough's psalm to our 'skies and stars' in the Winter Garden, smile at Ian McMillan's 'celebration of arrival' in Sheaf Square or ponder Andrew Motion's wistful words on the wall as you walk up the hill. 

And then call in to read more of their writing.

Even our own Parson Cross Library has public art poetry for you to peruse.

'X' by Michael Rosen (pictured right) sits side by side with powerful poems about 'place' by local pupils. 

Which we think is perfect placing!

4. Is for everyone - sure, there are rules and structures to writing formal poetry but rules were made to be broken – some of the best poets have. 

So why not give creating your own poetry a try? 

Writing workshops are held regularly across the city, including at our libraries – so get inspired and get involved!
5. Is free – all you need to create your own poetry is an open mind and your own imagination – and maybe just a pen and paper to get started. 
Reading it is free too – at your library!  
If you left poetry behind you at the school gates, we hope we've shone a fresh light on what's on offer - and tempted you to have another look.

And if it already lights your fire, we hope we’ve fanned those flames.
Why not visit your library and revisit verse?

Share your views on poetry with us @Shefflibraries