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Immerse yourself in
    Immerse yourself in poetry!
                       To You.
                   by Walt Whitman
if you, passing, meet me, and desire to speak to me,
why should you not speak to me?
And why should I not speak to you?
Walt Whitman
                            Walt Whitman
•   WALT WHITMAN was born in Westhills, Long Island, May 31, 1819, in a farm-house
    overlooking the sea. While yet a child his parents moved to Brooklyn, where he
    acquired his education. He learned type-setting at thirteen years of age. Two years later
    he taught a country school. He contributed to the "Democratic Review" before he was
    twenty-one years old. At thirty he traveled through the Western States, and spent one
    year in New Orleans editing a newspaper. Returning home he took up his father's
    occupation of carpenter and builder, which he followed for a while. During the War of
    the Rebellion he spent most of his time in the hospitals and camps, in the relief of the
    sick and disabled soldiers. For a time he was a department clerk in Washington. In 1856
    he published a volume entitled "Leaves of Grass." This volume shows unquestionable
    power, and great originality. His labors among the sick and wounded necessarily made
    great impressions; these took form in his mind and were published under the title of
    "Drum Taps." His poems lack much of the standard of recognized poetic measure. He
    has a style peculiar to himself, and his writings are full of meaning, beauty and interest.
    Of his productions, Underwood says: "Pupils who are accustomed to associate the idea
    of poetry with regular classic measure in rhyme, or in ten-syllabled blank verse or
    elastic hexameters, will commence these short and simple prose sentences with
    surprise, and will wonder how any number of them can form a poem. But let them read
    aloud with a mind in sympathy with the picture as it is displayed, and they will find by
    nature's unmistakable responses, that the author was a poet, and possessed the poet's
    incommunicable power to touch the heart." He died in Camden, N. J., March 20, 1892.
The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost
Robert Frost
• Robert Frost was born in San Francisco on March 26, 1874. He
  moved to New England at the age of eleven and became interested
  in reading and writing poetry during his high school years in
  Lawrence, Massachusetts. He was enrolled at Dartmouth College in
  1892, and later at Harvard, though he never earned a formal
• Frost drifted through a string of occupations after leaving school,
  working as a teacher, cobbler, and editor of the Lawrence Sentinel.
  His first professional poem, "My Butterfly," was published on
  November 8, 1894, in the New York newspaper The Independent.
• In 1895, Frost married Elinor Miriam White, who became a major
  inspiration in his poetry until her death in 1938. The couple moved
  to England in 1912, after their New Hampshire farm failed. While in
  England, Frost also established friendships with many poets, who
  helped to promote and publish his work. Frost returned to the
  United States in 1915.
I'm Nobody! Who are you?
    by Emily Dickinson
Emily Dickenson
• Emily or should I say Poetess Dickinson was born in Amherst,
  Massachuetts on December 10, 1830. Emily lived secluded in the
  house she was born in, except for the short time she attended Amherst
  Academy and Holyoke Female Seminary, until her death on May 15,
  1886 due to Bright's disease.Emily was an energetic and outgoing
  woman while attending the Academy and Seminary. It was later, during
  her mid-twenties, that Emily began to grow reclusive. She attended
  almost exclusively to household chores and to writing poetry.Many
  scholars have tried to understand and theorize why Emily decided to
  seclude herself in her home and write about the most intimate
  experiences and feelings of life. I think that the best of these theories
  is that Emily could not write about the world with out first backing
  away from the it and contemplating it from a distance.Emily had a few
  friends and acquaintances from day to day. One of these aquaintances
  was Thomas Wentworth Higginson whom she sent a few pieces of her
  poetry to. He rejected her poems, but he was eventually the first to
  publish her work after her death. Emily only had a six or seven of her
  poems published during her lifetime--and those without her consent.
  The number is argued over because one poem was published more
  than once.It was after her death that her poems were discovered. It is
  estimated that Emily wrote over 1700 poems.
Dora Diller by Jack Prelutsky
Jack Prelutsky
• Jack Prelutsky (born September 8, 1940 in Brooklyn, New
  York) is an American poet. He attended New York public
  schools, and later the High School of Music and Art and
  Hunter College.
• Prelutsky, who has also worked as a busboy, furniture
  mover, folk singer, and cab driver, claims that he hated
  poetry in grade school because of the way it was taught. He
  is the author of more than 30 poetry collections including
  Nightmares: Poems to Trouble Your Sleep< and A Pizza the
  Size of the Sun. He has also compiled countless children's
  anthologies comprised of poems of others'.
• Jack Prelutsky was married to Von Tre Venefue, a woman
  he had met in France. They divorced in 1995, but Jack
  remarried. He currently lives in Washington state with his
  wife, Carolyn. He befriended a gay poet named Espiritu
  Salamanca in 1997 and both now work together in writing
  poems and stories for children and adults alike.
I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud
   by William Wordsworth
William Wordsworth
• WILLIAM WORDSWORTH was born at Cockermouth,
  Cumberland County, England, April 7, 1770, and he died on
  April 28, 1850. He was buried by the side of his daughter in
  the beautiful churchyard of Grasmere.
• His father was law agent to Sir James Lowther, afterward
  Earl of Lonsdale, but he died when William was in his
  seventh year.
• The poet attended school first at Hawkshead School, then
  at Cambridge University. William was also entered at St.
  Johns in 1787. Having finished his academical course,
  Wordsworth, in 1790, in company with Mr. Robert James, a
  fellow-student, made a tour on the continent. With this
  friend Wordsworth made a tour in North Wales the
  following year, after taking his degree in college. He was
  again in France toward the close of the year 1791, and
  remained in that country about a twelvemonth. He had
  hailed the French Revolution with feelings of enthusiastic
• His move to Rydal was marked by an incident of considerable
  importance in his personal history. Through the influence of the Earl
  of Lonsdale, he was appointed distributor of stamps in the county
  of Westmoreland, which added greatly to his income without
  engrossing all of his time. He was now placed beyond the frowns of
  Fortune--if Fortune can ever be said to have frowned on one so
  independent of her smiles. The subsequent works of the poet were
  numerous--"The White Doe of Rylstone," a romantic narrative
  poem, yet colored with his peculiar genius; "Sonnets on the River
  Duddon" "The Waggoner;" "Peter Bell;" "Ecclesiastical Sketches;"
  "Yarrow Revisited," and others. His fame was extending rapidly. The
  universities of Durham and Oxford conferred academic honors upon
  him. Upon the death of his friend Southey, in 1843, he was made
  Poet Laureate of England, and the crown gave him a pension of per
  annum. Thus his income was increased and honors were showered
  upon him, making glad the closing years of his life. But sadness
  found its way into his household in 1847, caused by the death of his
  only daughter, Dora, then Mrs. Quillinan. Wordsworth survived the
  shock but three years, having reached the advanced age of eighty,
  always enjoying robust health and writing his poems in the open air.
  He died in 1850, on the anniversary of St. George, the patron saint
  of England. Biography from:
                 The Ostrich
               by Ogden Nash
• The ostrich roams the great Sahara.
 Its mouth is wide, its neck is narra.
 It has such long and lofty legs,
 I'm glad it sits to lay its eggs.
     Ode To A Baby
     By Ogden Nash

    A bit of talcum
Is always walcum.
               The Rhinoceros
               by Ogden Nash
The rhino is a homely beast,
For human eyes he’s not a feast,
But you and I will never know
Why Nature chose to make him so.
Farewell, farewell, you old rhinoceros,
I’ll stare at something less prepoceros.
Ogden Nash
• Ogden Nash was an American poet whose verse
  was light, whimsical and often nonsensical. One
  of his best-known poems, "Reflections on Ice-
  Breaking," goes like this: Candy / Is dandy / But
  liquor / Is quicker. Nash grew up in New York and
  Georgia and spent a year studying at Harvard
  (1921). In the early 1930s he was a staff editor
  and frequent contributor to The New Yorker
  magazine, but left to devote his time to writing
  full-time. He published children's books and
  several popular collections of poetry, and earned
  a reputation as a master at wordplay. During the
  1940s and '50s Nash was a frequent guest on
  television game shows and he was a popular
  lecturer throughout his career.
By Shel Siverstein
Shel Silverstein
• Shel Silverstein was born in 1932 in Chicago, Illinois. He
  started drawing and writing in his early teens because,
  according to him, he was not popular with the girls and
  was not good at sports. He did not have a lot of
  influences when he started to write and draw. But as
  he told Jean F. Mercier of Publishers Weekly, "I was
  also lucky that I didn't have anyone to copy, be
  impressed by. I had developed my own style." Indeed,
  that style is what has made him what some call a
  "literary cult figure."Silverstein served with the U.S.
  armed forces in the 1950s, spending time in Korea and
  Japan. While in the service he drew cartoons for the
  Pacific Stars and Stripes. In 1952, he began his career
  as a writer and cartoonist for Playboy magazine. He
  was introduced to the distinguished book editor at
  Harper and Brothers, Ursula Nordstrom, who
  convinced him he could write for children.
Many of his poems are adapted from his song
lyrics, and the influence of his song-writing
background is apparent in the poems' meters
and rhythms.

Silverstein died at his home in Key West,
Florida on May 10, 1999.
Monday’s Child is Fair of Face
by Elma Stuckey
Elma Stuckey
• Elma Stuckey was a former schoolteacher who won acclaim
  late in life with her poetry about black Americans from the
  time of slavery to the present and who published her
  second volume of poems at age 80. Mrs. Stuckey's first
  poetry collection, ''The Big Gate,'' was published in 1976,
  when she was 69 years old. Eric D. Hirsch Jr., Kenan
  Professor of English at the University of Virginia, said her
  second volume, ''The Collected Poems of Elma Stuckey,''
  established her ''in the canon of American poetry.'' In this
  work Mrs. Stuckey wrote about the lives of black Americans
  from the past to the present, and their migrations from
  South to North and from rural to urban America. Although
  she wrote poetry all of her life, she concentrated on it after
  retiring at the age of 60 as a supervisor in the Illinois
  Department of Labor. Mrs. Stuckey had been a teacher in
  the South. After she moved to Chicago in 1945, she worked
  as a hat-checker and a maid before joining the state labor
by Carl Sandburg
Carl Sandburg
• Carl Sandburg worked from the time he was a
  young boy. He quit school following his
  graduation from eighth grade in 1891 and spent a
  decade working a variety of jobs. He delivered
  milk, harvested ice, laid bricks, threshed wheat in
  Kansas, and shined shoes in Galesburg's Union
  Hotel before traveling as a hobo in

Sandburg's experiences working and
  traveling greatly influenced his writing and
  political views. He saw first-hand the sharp
  contrast between rich and poor, a dichotomy that
  instilled in him a distrust of capitalism.
by Christina Rossetti
Christina Rossetti
Christina Rossetti was born in London, one of four children of Italian
  parents. Her father was the poet Gabriele Rossetti; her brother
  Dante Gabriel Rossetti also became a poet and a painter. Rossetti's
  first poems were written in 1842 and printed in the private press of
  her grandfather. In 1850, under the pseudonym Ellen Alleyne, she
  contributed seven poems to the Pre-Raphaelite journal The Germ,
  which had been founded by her brother William Michael and his
  friends.Rossetti is best known for her ballads and her mystic religious
  lyrics. Her poetry is marked by symbolism and intense feeling.
  Rossetti's best-known work, Goblin Market and Other Poems, was
  published in 1862. The collection established Rossetti as a significant
  voice in Victorian poetry. The Prince's Progress and Other Poems,
  appeared in 1866 followed by Sing-Song, a collection of verse for
  children, in 1872 (with illustrations by Arthur Hughes).By the 1880s,
  recurrent bouts of Graves' disease, a thyroid disorder, made Rossetti
  an invalid, and ended her attempts to work as a governess. While
  the illness restricted her social life, she continued to write poems.
           by Eloise Greenfield
Went to the corner     Went to the kitchen
Walked in the store    Lay down on the floor
Bought me some candy   Made me a poem
Ain’t got it no more   Still got it
Ain’t got it no more   Still got it

Went to the beach
Played on the shore
Built me a sandhouse
Ain’t got it no more
Ain’t got it no more
Eloise Greenfield
• loise Greenfield was born in Parmele, North Carolina, on May 17, 1929.
  While she was still an infant, her family moved to Washington, D.C., where
  she has lived ever since. Ms. Greenfield studied piano as a child and
  teenager. She loved music, movies, and books. She began a search for
  satisfying work in her early twenties and found it in writing.Marriage, two
  children (named Monica and Steve), and a full time civil service job might
  have made another person abandon writing, but Eloise Greenfield
  discovered, along with her love for moving words around on paper, a
  purpose. There were far too few books that told the truth about African-
  American people. Ms. Greenfield wanted to change that. Her writing —
  indeed her every activity within the African-American community — has
  reflected the seriousness of her involvement. The many honors she has
  received — including the 1990 Recognition of Merit Award presented by
  the George G. Stone Center for Children's Books in Claremont, California;
  and an honorary degree from Wheelock College in Boston, Massachusetts
  — are testimony to the skill she brings to advancing her goals.In addition
  to writing herself, Eloise Greenfield has found time to work with other
  writers. She headed the Adult Fiction and Children's Literature divisions of
  the D.C. Black Writers' Workshop (now defunct), a group whose goal was
  to encourage the writing and publishing of Africa-American literature. She
  has given free workshops on the writing of African-American literature for
  children, and, under grants from the D.C. Commission on the Arts.
by Langston Hughes
     Hold fast to dreams
       For if dreams die
Life is a Broken-winged bird
        That cannot fly

   Hold fast to dreams
   For when dreams go
   Life is a barren field
    Frozen with snow
Langston Hughes
• Until the first part of the 20th Century, the world of poetry was
  dominated by caucasian artists. White poetry written about the
  experiences of white people was the only kind of verse most folks
  had ever heard.With the advent of the Harlem Renaissance in the
  1920s, this relatively genteel world of American poetry was shaken
  to its foundations. Strong black voices, writing with African-
  American rhythms and cadences, broke out all over the country. Of
  this remarkable creative outpouring, one voice rose among all of
  the rest. This was the voice of poet Langston Hughes.Langston
  Hughes was born in Joplin, Missouri, in 1902 to a family of
  abolitionists. His grandfather was Charles Henry Langston, the
  brother of John Mercer Langston, who was the the first black
  American to be elected to public office in 1855. After high school,
  Hughes went on to Columbia University to study engineering, but
  soon dropped out to pursue his first love — poetry. He never looked
  back.The poetry Hughes crafted over the course of his lifetime was
  filled with rhythm and beat. His stanzas weave wildly smooth tunes
  about life as a black American. Indeed, Hughes always
  acknowledged that his primary poetic influences were the blues
  bars of Harlem and D.C.. He once remarked "blues had the pulse
  beat of the people who keep on going."
   Afternoon on a Hill
by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Edna ST. Vincent Millay
• Edna St. Vincent Millay was born in Rockland, Maine, the daughter of
  Henry Tolman Millay, a school principal, and Cora Lounella (Buzzelle)
  Millay. (Millay's middle name derived from the French priest St. Vincent de
  Paul.) Her father had a weakness for poker playing, and although he
  deserted his family, Millay kept contact with him. After divorce in 1900,
  Cora Millay moved with her three daughters, Edna, Norma, and Kathleen,
  to Camden, into a small house in the poorest part of the town. To support
  her family she worked as a district nurse and was often away on
  assignment. Trained to be a singer, she coached town orchestras and
  wrote out scores for their members. She also encouraged her daughters in
  their musical and poetic ambitions, and taught Edna to write poetry at the
  age of five. Millay was forced to work during her school years. When
  Carolyn B. Dow of the National Training School of the YWCA took her as
  her protegée, she was able to go to college. After preparatory work at
  Barnard College, she entered Vassar, receiving her B.A. in 1917. After
  graduation Millay moved to New York and settled in Greenwich Village,
  where she associated with many of the prominent artists, writers and
  political radicals. She died alone at home, on October 19, 1950, after
  falling down the stairs and breaking her neck
                  Concord Hymn
             by Ralph Waldo Emerson
• By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April's breeze
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot
  heard round the world.

The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the
  conqueror silent sleeps;
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the
  dark stream which seaward creeps.On this green bank, by this soft
We set to-day a votive stone;
That memory may their deed
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.Spirit, that made those
  heroes dare
To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature
  gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.
Ralph Waldo Emmerson
• Ralph Waldo Emerson was born on 25 May 1803
  in the Puritan New England town of Boston,
  Massachusetts to Ruth née Haskins (d.1853) and
  Unitarian minister William Emerson (d.1811).
  Young Ralph had a strict but loving upbringing in
  the household of a minister who died when he
  was just eight years old. It was the first of many
  untimely deaths of Emerson's relatives. While his
  father had died young, he was very close to his
  mother, siblings, and Aunt Mary Moody who had
  a great and positive influence on his intellectual
  growth. Early on young Waldo as he like to be
  called started keeping journals and later would
  base many of his essays on his thoughts and
  observations expressed therein. While his writings
  were sometimes criticised as being too abstract,
  he was an eloquent and popular speaker.

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