Poetry corner offers students a variety of selections

Poetry: the timeless art form that has led many to laugh, cry and ponder for thousands of years. The amount of potent emotion a skilled poet is able to pack into a poem is nothing short of incredible.

Poets use the nonlinear structure in poetry to creatively weave together sharply-witted poems that are often open to several kinds of interpretations. The poetry corner located near the entrance of the Farley Library puts on display some of the greatest poetic works for anyone to come by, contemplate, laugh and gain insight.

The poetry corner boasts a diverse selection of poetic stylings. From the surrealism of W.S. Merwin to the comedic poems of Gregory Corso. Mood should never be a concern while visiting the poetry corner, as all tones are present.

“I look at these books like classic albums,” said Lawrence Kopenis, librarian in the circulation department at Farley Library. “It is beautiful to put your hands on a copy. Seeing the books with the artwork and feeling the page is incredibly important to the experience of poetry.”

Kopenis hand picked and properly arranged each of the poems within the poetry corner. To him, every poem has a voice, a purpose, a special type of humanity.

“The human spirit is captured in art,” said Kopenis. “Their spirit lives on in these books. We can listen to what the human spirit said in the past, and let it help guide us into the future.”

Poetry, more often than others, feels distinctly personal. Poets like Sylvia Plath transformed her anxiety into poems through a writing style titled confessional poetry.

Confessional poetry’s focus on close and personal nature allows the reader to peer directly into the mind of the author. Plath was not just a prolific writer, but also an icon within the feminist movement.

“I truly admire the work the Sylvia Plath did for the feminist movement,” said Lara Mullen, sophomore psychology major. “Her voice still echoes loudly today.”

T.S. Eliot’s classic piece “The Waste Land” is also available for reading at the poetry corner. The narrative poem explores life in London post World War 1. Themes of death, grief, disillusionment and the afterlife are explored in the poem.

“I think that T.S. Elliot had a really great introspective view on grief as shown in ‘The Waste land,’” said Gene Santos, first-year history major. “The way he portrays time moving on after grief is incredibly unique and gripping.”

“Howl” by Allen Ginsberg is a modern poetry essential. Its small size allows it to be potent yet easily digestible.

Renowned poet Langston Hughes also shares a spot in the corner with his poem collection titled “The Dream Keeper.” Langston was a key part of the Harlem renaissance, as he helped influence the artistically rich city it is today.

The art of poetry is so rich, deep and unique that it is difficult to dedicate just a corner to it. However, there is much more to be offered in the Farley Library.

“We mainly stuck with American poetry for the corner; however, there is so much excellent poetry upstairs from all around the world,” said Kopenis.

The corner is planned to evolve during the next semester. Kopenis has described his desire to eventually transform it into a painting corner and possibly even a music corner.

However, at this moment it is fully encouraged that students come by the poetry corner to gain some entertainment, insight and introspection. The art of poetry may be centuries old but it still has so much to offer and teach.