Poetry Reading List

Isn’t that quote just perfect? It is from the poem “Evangeline,” and was written on the chalkboard at the entrance to one of my favorite bookstores: Sundog Books. Wooden floors, tall shelves, and tables stacked high with books make it the perfect early morning stop in Seaside. Plus, there are giant mimosas next door to sip once you’ve found the book you’d like to spend the afternoon with. So today, inspired by Sundog, I’m sharing my poetry reading list.

“Evangeline” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I’m familiar with this title because my favorite aunt’s name was Evangeline, and she had a beautiful antique copy of this epic poem. But I confess, I never read it. So after the chalkboard’s gentle reminder, this one has gone to the top of the list! The plot follows Evangeline in her search for her long-lost love, Gabriel.

“Telling the Bees” by Faith Shearin

Garrison Keillor has read several selections from this poetry collection recently on the Writer’s Almanac, and I have loved the subjects Shearin chooses to write about. There’s something about the sense of place she describes in her poems that I find incredibly comfortable. My favorite was “My Grandparents Generation”…

I am going to miss their attics, 
their ordinary coffee, their chicken
fried in lard.

“O, What a Luxury” by Garrison Keillor

Garrison Keillor’s poetry, much like his radio show A Prairie Home Companion, is just fun. There’s a chapter in this book titled “Was Ethel Merman a Mormon?” because sometimes alliteration is awesome. Among odes to Minnesota and the Lutheran Church, he even writes his own “Thong Song.” It’s definitely worth a read!

So tell me: Do you read poetry? If so, what else should be on my list this summer?