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Poetry for Young People: William Butler Yeats

Poetry for Young People: William Butler Yeats

I read this book for National Poetry Month. It is a collection of poems by William Butler Yeats designed for young adult readers. The librarian at my school recommended this series of collections when I told her that I wanted to read poetry but was usually not a big fan of it. I am sad to say the book did not change my opinion of that – I am still not a fan of reading poetry. However, I did find myself enjoying a couple of his poems. My favorites were The Lake Isle of Innisfree  and To A Child Dancing In The Wind. I think The Lake Isle of Innisfree won hands down. It was the only one I really remember from the collection (there were 25 poems total).


There was a brief introduction in the front of the book that I found particularly helpful. It gave a wonderful explanation and biography of Yeats and why the majority of his poems revolve around Ireland and the mystic beings of Irish folklore. Furthermore, each poem has a brief introduction that gives an overview of the poem and the meaning the author was attempting to convey. Also, there are footnotes for difficult words in the poem, well words that are considered difficult for young adult readers. I found both of these aspects helpful and enlightening when reading the poems. I myself do not like searching for the deep underlining meaning of the poems. I like ones that I can easily relate to and are not metaphors for more abstract concepts. As for Yeats, he hit this idea about half the time, so it wasn’t too hard for me to finish the collection.

My favorite part of the book by far were the illustrations and artwork done by Glenn Harrington for the book. They are impressionist, which is my favorite are style and beautifully represent every poem. I would have continued in the book just for those.

I would recommend this book, or rather the entire Poetry for Young People series to anyone starting to get into poetry for the first time. They do a wonderful job of opening up the world of poetry to people unfamiliar with it. I am giving it a 3 cheese rating for attempts to help understand poems and the artwork.

My rating:

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Capture by Nicholas Gagnier

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In honor of National Poetry Month, I wanted to give a shout out to a WordPress blogging poet I came across. His blog is called Retkon Poet.

Here is one of his poems that I liked the most so far:


Hold out
your open palm, and
help me capture old

ever faraway
lights we used to
count among

our calms.

And when you feel lost,
punctuating rehearsed
prayers to God,

remember you’re
a testament,

a gospel of
what’s possible for
churches built on detriment
that’ve not yet found
their rock.

Remember all
art forms began
a sketch,
as outlines
lacking shades,
fine edges obscured.

Keep in mind every

January becomes
a June,

and any story that begins
without glory can conclude with
us as royals.

Know there ain’t a poet
that knows what
what he
was when
he first spoiled the
page, composer of serenades
trump all
sense of time.

Find your something positive
and model it for innocuous ends.

Help me capture
a light, my dear
malcontents of ever afters;
instill it with your
and tragedies,
paradigms and truths,
so a paradoxical masterpiece may
emerge from your

burden of

The allure of your best is
a cure for your worst;

assert yourself over
the absurdity you’ve
purposely held
onto and therein lies

your worth.

National Poetry Month

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National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month. I am not a big fan of poetry, but I respect it as a literary art form. I also have my students create poems in class to practice their writing skills. In honor of this literary form, I wanted to create a post for people who like poetry and also to maybe help others find poetry. There are many different types of poetry, but I wanted to give a general overview of the genre.

Some famous poets: 

  • Robert Frost
  • Emily Dickinson
  • Edgar Allen Poe
  • Walt Whitman
  • Maya Angelou
  • Langston Hughes
  • D. H. Lawrence
  • E. E. Cummings
  • T. S. Eliot
  • Pablo Neruda

Famous Works of Epic Poetry

  • The Iliad and the Odyssey by Homer
  • The Aeneid by Virgil
  • Don Juan by Lord Byron
  • Paradise Lost by John Milton
  • The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri
  • Beowulf
  • Metamorphosis by Ovid
  • Epic of Gilgamesh

Famous Poems

“Hope” is the thing with feathers

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –
And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –
I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.


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.

Self-Pity, a favorite poem

Self-Pity, a favorite poem

I do not read poetry very often, rarely actually. This poem I actually did not come across reading anyway. I heard it in the movie G.I. Jane. Now, if you have ever seen the movie, you know the poem I mean. It is very simple, clean, and straight to the point. I like that about it.


I – never saw a wild thing

sorry for itself.

A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough

without ever having felt sorry for itself.

– D.H. Lawrence

What is your favorite poem?