LOCATING POETRY BOOKSThe Newton Free Library has a large collection of poetry books, in English, translated into English, and poems printed in the original foreign language. The books may contain poems by one author, poems in collections, or poems by subject (example - Love Poetry).
v Books of poems by American and English poets have the call number 821 and then they are arranged on the shelves by the author's last name. (Example - 821 Frost or 821 F92, for books of poetry by the poet Robert Frost.)
v Books of poems by foreign poets have the call number 831 for German poets, 841 for French poets, 851 for Italian poets, 861 for Spanish poets, 871 for Roman poets, 881 for Greek poets, and 891to 899 for poems by poets in other languages and then they are arranged on the shelves by the author's last name. Example - 841 Verlaine or 841 V58, for books of poetry by the French poet Paul Verlaine.)
v Books of poems in collections with many authors have the call number 821.08 for collections of poems by American and English poets, 831.08 for collections of poems by German poets, 841.08 for collections of poems by French poets, 851.08 for collections of poems by Italian poets, 861.08 for collections of poems by Spanish poets, 871.08 for collections of poems by Roman poets, 881.08 for collections of poems by Greek poets, and 891.08 for collections of poems by poems by poets in other languages, arranged by each country.
v Books of poems with many authors from different countries have the call number 808.81. (Example - The 100 best poems of all time 808.81 ONE)
To locate poems by a particular poet, search the Minuteman Library Network catalog at the computer terminals throughout the Main Library or from your home computer. Type the last name, first name of the poet and then click on the "Search" button. NOTE - Most poems are not listed in the catalog by title. You may have to check the Table of Contents or the Index of an appropriate book to see if the poem is published in a particular book.
The following subject headings can be used to help find appropriate poems: Children's poetry; Christian poetry; Computer poetry; Concrete poetry; Elegiac poetry; Epic poetry; Experimental poetry; Fantasy poetry; Feminist poetry; Haiku; Humorous poetry; Limericks; Love poetry; Lyric poetry; Poetry of places; Religious poetry; Sea poetry; Sonnets; Sound poetry; Travel Poetry; Visual poetry; War poetry; or Young adult poetry. In many cases, subdivisions such as the following can be useful in locating poetry books or poems: Poetry under names of countries, cities, etc. (Example - Ireland Poetry) and under classes of persons (Example - Women Poetry), ethnic groups (Example - American Poetry African American Authors), and topical headings (Example - Christmas Poetry); and headings for poetry qualified by linguistic, national or regional terms (Examples - Yiddish poetry; American poetry; West African poetry).
When viewing the search results, look in the right hand column to determine the format of the listed item (Book, audio CD, or audio cassette).
The library has a great many printed poetry indexes, which can be helpful in tracking down a particular poem. The below listed Internet Web sites may also be helpful. If you need help, please ask a Reference Librarian.
http://famouspoetsandpoems.com/ Web site provides access to a collection of 20,000 poems from over 550 poets from 37 countries.
www.americanpoems.com/ Web site focuses on 237 American poets, providing biographical information and access to each of their 8034 poems.
www.english.uiuc.edu/maps/poets.htm Information about 161 modern American poets, with critical analysis of poems and Internet links to the poems and biographical information.
www.poetryfoundation.org/ The Web site of the Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, provides a wealth of poetry-related information and searching tools.
Web Sites for Locating Criticism of Individual Poems
www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/poetrycrit/web.html The Library of Congress Web guide for locating criticism of individual poems. - "Few websites provide access to criticism of individual poems. The Modern American Poetry website, listed below, is one of few sites of which we are aware that offer poetry explications for works produced by a large numbers of poets. Some sites, such as the Walt Whitman Archive, provide online explications of poems written by a single poet. We do not attempt to list these sites."
http://rpo.library.utoronto.ca/display_rpo/indexcriticism.cfm Founded by the University of Toronto, Representative Poetry Online: Prose and Verse Criticism of Poetry, provides access to nearly 3,200 English poems by 500 poets. Its page on Prose and Verse Criticism of Poetry links to commentary of several well- known poems, such as John Keats's "Ode to a Nightingale," Robert Browning's "My Last Duchess," and Matthew Arnold's "Dover Beach."
www.english.uiuc.edu/maps/ Modern American Poetry: An Online Journal and Multimedia Companion to Anthology of Modern American Poetry. Includes scholarly commentary on the works of approximately 160 modern poets, including explications of individual poems.
www.galegroup.com/free_resources/poets/poems/index.htm A free resource from Thompson Gale that provides brief explications of selected poems, including Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven," Emily Dickinson's "Because I could not stop for Death," and William Blake's "The Tyger."
SEARCH STRATEGIES - Criticism of poems can often be found through by conducting keyword searches of search engines such as Google and Yahoo! Using keywords such as a poem's title along with criticism, analysis, or introduction frequently will return sites that provide explications of the poem. There also exist Web portals such as Voice of the Shuttle < http://vos.ucsb.edu/> or the Internet Public Library Literary Criticism collection <www.ipl.org/div/litcrit/> that may lead you to criticism of individual poems.
This reference aid sheet is funded through the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.
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