Most states have a state flower, a state bird, state insect (lots of bees and butterflies). But did you know some states have a state poem? Indiana, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Tennessee all have state poems which you can read here.
The Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature at the Library of Congress offers a chance to listen to poets reading their own works. Sample Allen Ginsburg, Ray Bradbury, Anne Sexton, Maxine Kumin and Joyce Carol Oates. One of the gems in the collection is a 1959 interview with Robert Frost in which he recites some of his poems.
Do you want to find a copy of particular poem you remember? Check Litfinder in the library’s collection of databases. You can search by poem or by poet’s name.
Today there is a position at the Library of Congress called the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry. Until 1986 there was a similar position called the Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. On the Syosset Library’s third floor is a display of books of some of the American poets who have held these positions. Perhaps you will discover a new poet to enjoy or rekindle interest in an old favorite.
Wouldn’t this month be an appropriate time to visit the birthpace of Long Island’s own Walt Whitman? The library has a museum pass to let you explore the site for free. Reserve the pass online or call 516-921-7161 ext. 239.
-posted by Brenda, Reference Librarian