As mentioned in a previous post, Main Library will be hosting a brand new discussion group beginning Thursday evening, October 9th, entitled 3 Poems By …. Each session of the 3 Poems By … Poetry Discussion Group will concentrate on three representative works of a particular poet. There will be a brief intro by one of the two moderators (Renée or Don), followed by a guided discussion of the 3 poems under consideration.
Think of it as a book discussion group without the (whole) book, just 3 poems.
Up first is Emily Dickinson who, along with Walt Whitman, revolutionized American poetry by making it frankly personal and, again along with “Father” Walt, is one of the two most important American poets of the 19th century. Dickinson herself was as enigmatic as her work; in that very real sense, her poetry reflects who she was. However, the reader must be wary. Dickinson herself famously cautioned, in a letter from July 1862, that the “I” or persona in her poems was “a supposed person.” The critic Harold Bloom observed that when reading Dickinson “One’s mind had better be at its rare best” because there is much to be ferreted from the seemingly simplistic language and rhythmic meters of her considerable body of work.
So, all things considered, three small dollops may be just enough.
The three poems we’ll be reading and discussing by Dickinson are:
- There’s a certain Slant of light
- After great pain a formal feeling comes
- Because I could not stop for Death
Whether its subject is going out on a formal date with a very persuasive suitor, a near clinical description of the sheer weight and power of grief, or an early lyrical accounting of what might be taken for the very modern syndrome known as seasonal affective disorder, any of these three poems will not fail to astonish in either theme or execution.
Join us at Main Library on Thursday, October 9th from 7:30 to 8:30 in Classroom A in the Center for Museum Education, which is in the hallway of the rear entrance to the library. Registration is requested, not required (it helps us to figure out how many chairs we need), so to register or further information please contact Renée (412 622-3151) or Don (412 622-3175) or drop us an email at email@example.com.