In researching our institution’s connection to poetry, I am interested to learn that Professor Allan Abbott (1886-1956) sought to inspire reform in the teaching of English by encouraging teachers to tailor their selection of literature to student interests. Interestingly, he co-authored with M.R. Tribue, of the University of North Carolina, A Measure of Ability to Judge Poetry: Series X and Y (Teachers College Bulletin, 1922) , so we could “tell good from bad”. Writes Abbott, a descendant of Jacob Abbott, author of the well-known Rollo books and other children’s books, “Conceivably something might be learned of the general psychological response to the stimuli of the art in question, and so, of the fundamental principles of the art itself considered as a social activity, designed to evoke popular response.”
So, in response to a recent student proposal to exhibit international works of poetry in the Everett Cafe, we wonder how on Earth we will address scope and scale — and how we will choose what is best to display. For the sea of poetry is old and vast, and we swim with a myriad of possibilities — ancient, classic, romantic, modern, epic, free verse, anthology, chapbook. Dr. Abbott’s A Fish-Centered School & Other Educational Squibs and Whimsies (Teachers College Bureau of Publications, 1936) catches our attention … and cultivates our curiosity. There are multiple languages and countries to consider, not to mention, the recent Executive Order — forcing a low tide on travel. Like seagulls stranded in the sand, voices from banned countries are destined to haunt with an unmistakeable call.
It’s more than mind, measurement, or even educational satire. Good poems speak to the heart of our shared human feelings and experiences, wherever we are in time and place. The new Everett Cafe book display focuses primarily on poetry written by and for adults — looking beyond our nation for inspiration in understanding universal human themes — love, family, religion, ethics, education, nationality — as well as providing insight into many important world needs — freedom, social justice, human rights, peace, and tolerance. It carefully incorporates masterful English translations of great works alongside poetic languages of origin.
As for origin, we wish to acknowledge the small, but charming book, We Begin as Poets, by TC alumna Jessica Elsas, for she sensitively shows how the poetic writings of young children inspire art. We clearly grasp the significance of the child’s point of view, and wonder if, for next April’s display, we will look freshly at poetry through the eyes of the child. Writes, Laura, age 7,
the hills curve and rise
like loaves of bread
the sun sprinkles glitter
on the sea
the wind is writing
what it knows
in lines along the sea
Curated by the staff of the Gottesman Libraries, with input from the Teachers College community, Celebrating Voices: International Poetry is on display this Spring. It coincides with National Poetry Month and supports the recent Teachers College International Week and its theme Celebrating World Cultures; Celebrating the Beauty of You.
The following books comprise the exhibit:
Adonis: Selected Poems. Translated from the Arabic by Khaled Mattawa. New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 2010.
Cafe PJ7862.A519 A26 2010
Al-Maram, Maram. Liberty Walks Naked. Translated by Theo Dorgan.
Cafe PJ7846.I817 L5313 2017
Alda, Anna-Marie, ed. An Anthology of Nineteenth-Century Women’s Poetry from Spain: in English Translation, with Original Text. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2009.
Cafe PQ6177 .A64 2009
An Anthology of Somali Poetry. Translated by Bogumil W. Andrzejewski. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1993.
Cafe PJ2534.Z95E5 1993
Basho, Matsuo and Donald Keene. The Narrow Road to Oku. Tokyo, New York: Kodansha International New York, N.Y. : Distributed in the U.S. by Kodansha America, 1996.
Cafe PL794.4.Z5 A3613 1996
Behbahani, Simin. A Cup of Sin: Selected Poems. Edited and translated from the Persian by Farzaneh Milani and Kaveh Safa; with introductory essays by the poet and an afterword by Kaveh Safeh. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1999.
Cafe PK6561.B5 A24 1999
Condone, Ned, ed. An Anthology of Modern Italian Poetry in English Translation, with Italian Text. Introduction and notes by Dana Renga. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2009.
Cafe PQ4225.E8 C66 2009
Daughters of Yemen. Translated from the Arabic by Michael Maswari Caspi. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 1985.
Cafe PJ5078.65.E5 D38 1985
Elhillo, Safia. The January Children. Foreword by Kwame Dawes. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2017.
Cafe PS3605.L385 A6 2017
Etwebi, Ashur. Poems from Above the Hill: Selected Poems of Ashur Etwebi. Translated by Brenda Hillman and Diallah Haidar. Anderson, S.C.: Parlor Press, c2011.
Cafe PJ7864.T92 A2 2011
Firmat, Gustavo Perez. Bilingual Blues: Poems, 1981-1994. Tempe, Ariz.: Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe, 1995.
Cafe PS3566.E69138 B55 1995
Gearing, Ryan. Enduring Freedom: An Afghan Anthology. Brighton: Firestep Press, 2011.
Cafe PR1228 .E53 2015
Habib, M.A.R., ed. An Anthology of Modern Urdu Poetry. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2003.
Cafe PK2211.E3 A68 2003
Heaney, Seamus. Opened Ground: Selected Poems, 1966-1996. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1998.
Cafe PR6058.E2 O65 1998
Ibarbourou, Juan de. Las Lenguas de Diamante – Raiz Salvaje. Madrid: Cátedra, 2003, 1998.
Cafe PQ8519.I3 A6 2003
Johnson, John William. “Heelloy”: Modern Poetry and Songs of the Somalis. London: HAAN Publishers, 1996.
Cafe PJ2533.5 .J64 1996
Karimipour, Zahra. Iran Memories and Other Poems: An Iranian-American Woman’s Journey. Bloomington, IN: Trafford, 2013.
Cafe PS3611.A7834 I73 2013
Knight, Henry Gally. Ilderim: A Syrian Tale. in Four Cantos. London: Printed for John Murray, 1816.
Cafe PR4859.K43 I3 1816
The Mahabharata. Abridged edition. Edited and translated by John D. Smith. London, New York: Penguin Classics, 2009.
Cafe PK3633.A2 S65 2009
Marie, Farzana. Load Poems Like Guns: Women’s Poetry from Herat, Afghanistan. Duluth, MN: Holy Cow Press, 2015.
Cafe PK6434.5.W64 L613 2015
Marti, Jose and Manuel A. Tellechea. JVersos Sencillos: Simple Verses. Houston : Arte Pâublico Press, 1997.
Cafe PQ7389.M2 V4513 1997 and WWW
Mattawa, Khaled. Ismailia Eclipse: Poems. Riverdale-on-Hudson, NY: Sheep Meadow Press, 1995.
Cafe PS3563.A8387 I86 1995.
Mattawa, Khaled. Tocqueville. Kalamazoo, Mich: New Issues in Poetry and Prose, Western Michigan University, c2010.
Cafe PS3563.A8387 T63 201
Moore, Gerald and Ulli Beier, eds. The Penguin Book of Modern African Poetry. 5th ed. London: Penguin, 2007.
Cafe PL8013 .E5 2007
Moosavi, Hafez. The Poetry of Hafez Moosavi: Middle East Poems and Other Poems. Translated by Afshin Hafizi and Alireza Khatami. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013.
Qā’em-Maqāmi, Ālam-Tāj Zhāle. Mirror of Dew: The Poetry of Ālam-Tāj Zhāle Qā’em-Maqāmi. Translated, with an introduction by Asghar Seyed-Gohrab. Boston: Ilex Foundation, 2014.
Cafe PK6561.Q253 A2 2014
Ride, Al-Sadiq. Monkey at the Window. Translated by Sarah Maguire and Mark Ford with Atef Alshaer, Rashid El Sheikh, Sabry Hafez and Hafez Khei. Eastburn, Southpark, England: Bloodaxe, 2016.
Cafe PJ7860.I285 A2 2016
Rothenberg, Jerome, ed. Technicians of the Sacred: A Range of Poetries from Africa, America, Asia, Europe and Oceania. 2nd edition, rev. and exp. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985.
Cafe PN1347 .T43 1985.
Schultz, Gretchen, ed. An Anthology of Nineteenth-Century Women’s Poetry from France : in English Translation, with French Text. New York : Modern Language Association of America, 2008.
Cafe PQ1167 .A58 2008
Sharif, Solmaz. Look: Poems. Minneapolis, MN: Graywolf Press, 2016.
Cafe PS3619.H356415 A6 2016
Shikibu, Murasaki and Hatsue Kawamura. A String of Flowers, Untied… Love Poems from The Tale of Genji. Berkeley, CA : Stone Bridge Press, 2001.
Cafe PL788.4.G42 A27 2001
Walcott, Derek. The Poetry of Derek Walcott 1948-2013. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014.
Cafe PR9272.9.W3 A6 2014
Shire, Warsan. Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth. London: flipped eye publishing, Mouthmark, 2011.
Cafe PR6069.H52 T43 2011
Transtromer, Tomas. Bright Scythe: Selected Poems. Louisville, KY: Sarabande Books, 2015.
Cafe PT9876.3.R3 A2 2015
Washbourne, Kelly. ed. An Anthology of Spanish American Modernismo : in English Translation, with Spanish Text. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2007.
Cafe PQ7087.E5 A48 2007
Wolpe, Sohle. The Forbidden: Poems from Iran and its Exiles. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, c2012.
Cafe PK6449.E5 F67 2012
Zand, Michael. Lion: The Iran Poems. Exeter: Shearsman, 2010.
Cafe PR6126.A54 L56 2010
Also be sure to look out for next year’s Poem in Your Pocket Day, which occurs on April 27th. This event was initiated in 2002 by the Office of the Mayor, in partnership with the New York City Departments of Cultural Affairs and Education, as part of the city’s National Poetry Month celebration. Browse the archive of poems, and see how poetry is celebrated across the United States and Canada, from classrooms and communities, to libraries and workplaces.
At the Everett News Cafe, you’ll find a new book collection every few weeks that relates to current affairs, education, or learning environments.