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Posts Tagged ‘poem’

The Odyssey – A Review

Posted on August 29th, 2014 by Anna in Books, Reviews - Staff

The Odyssey

The Odyssey by Homer

Read by Anna/Central Teen Room

The word “odyssey” means a long series of wanderings or adventures, especially when filled with notable experiences, hardships, etc. The origin of this word stems from the epic poem Homer wrote depicting the long journey home of King Odysseus, known as The Odyssey. A whole twenty years prior to the start of the epic poem, Odysseus took soldiers to Troy in order to fight in the Trojan War. The trip should have been easy. He should have returned straight home to his wife and son on his native lands of Ithaca, but thanks to Zeus and the other Gods, the return journey was fraught with dangers and troubles. It took him ten years to get home, and lots of cunning to escape the fantastical creatures and Gods and Goddesses who wished to detain him. He went down into the darkness of the Underworld to talk with those who had died during the Trojan War. While he was known to be one of the best fighters in war, he fought a cyclops, not with swords, but with cunning words and actions. He told his men to lash him to the mast of the ship in order that he might hear the sirens call to him to turn the ship into dangerous waters bent on his destruction, but so that he would be able to do as they wished. Meanwhile, back in Ithaca, his wife was besieged with suitors who were eating her out of house and home, taking no cares in how many pigs and cows they slaughtered for their daily feasts and ignoring their own flocks. They each yearned for her to take another husband while it was assumed King Odysseus had been killed at war or on his return journey home. Queen Penelope held her ground and would neither wed another man nor send them away, leaving her son, Telemachus, to deal with them as best he could until his father could return home.

When I decided to reread this for my summer reading list this year, (I originally read it in 10th grade English, I think.) I decided to listen to the audio version for several reasons. Reason one being the long and unfamiliar names. When I read them in my head, I often change the pronunciation because I’m never sure what it should be. Having a narrator read to me, means the pronunciations will always remain the same. And reason two, the narrator was Sir Ian McKellen. Yep, that really awesome British actor who plays Gandalf in Lord of the Rings and other great, well known characters. What better guy could you get to read the story of Odysseus? I ask you, and I doubt you’ll come up with one. If you do, you’ll have to let me know who it is. I found his voice was perfect for telling an epic tale. While he didn’t read it as more modern narrators will, giving different voices and accents to different characters, it wasn’t hard to determine who was speaking at all. I highly recommend this just for Ian McKellen’s voice alone. If this is something you have to read for school, the audio book just might help get you through it.

On one hand we have this amazing audio book, but on the other we must consider the epic poem written by Homer, that is so much more than just a plain old poem. It literally is an epic fantasy. It includes many Gods and Goddesses, a cyclops (a giant with one large, round eye in the middle of his forehead), sirens (sea nymphs, part woman and part bird, who lure mariners to destruction by their seductive singing),  a centaur (one of a race of monsters having the head, trunk, and arms of a man, and the body and legs of a horse), and many other characters Odysseus must fight against to win his freedom and be able to finish his journey home. While most of the story is told by different characters telling the story to others, it is certainly not boring by any sense of the word. Unless, of course, you aren’t into poetry, fantasy, adventures, and a little violence. (There are some pretty bloody battles that get depicted in this epic, especially toward the end.) If, however, these are things that do interest you, I urge you to check out this book, either in audio or in print. Minus any notes, appendixes, and introductions, the poem is roughly 400 pages and the audio book is around 13 hours. While that may seem like a long book, because it’s in poem format and because there are a lot of action scenes, the story seems to move at a quick pace for the most part. There’s a reason The Odyssey is continually reprinted and translated after it was initially written in either the late eighth or seventh century B.C. I really enjoyed rereading this, and getting myself reacquainted with the story years after my first reading, and I think you’ll like it too.

Another poem

Posted on May 15th, 2012 by Mary in Teen Services

This poem was written by ButterflyAmy.

 

Remember

Do not forget who I am today,
For tomorrow I will be but a memory.
No longer can we share a story,
Or a touch of hand, for I have gone away.

Do not forget to think of me
Of the dreams we shared of forever,
And of the times we spent together.
I will live on in your memory.

Do not forget to remember me
In times of happiness or sad.
But if you do, do not feel bad,
For I am only in your memory.

In life I wish for you all the joy,
Peace and love that you can be.

Friday is Day Of Silence

Posted on April 19th, 2012 by Anna in Events, News, Programs, Teen Services

 

Day of Silence is a youth movement protesting the silence caused by harassment, prejudice, and discrimination faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their allies. 

 By keeping silent for the day, you are fighting these injustices.

 What are YOU doing to end the silence?

 Come to the Teen Room at the Central Library to sign our banner with messages of hope, love, and encouragement. Show your support by wearing a DOS sticker as well. The two teen librarians, Mary and Anna will be participating in the day by staying silent on and off all day. While one is silent, the other will be available to answer questions and help patrons find the books and information they need. Then they will switch. Consider joining them in their effort to stand with the silent.

The following poem was written today for our Catharsis Through Poetry workshop while thinking about Day of Silence. It was written by an LGBTQ ally who wishes to remain anonymous.

“Love Who You Love”

Injustice.

It happens everyday.

Must I wear this

Rainbow shirt

To show I care?

Can’t we all

Just get along?

You can’t tell me

Who I am

Who to love.

Am I man?

Am I woman?

Or something

In-between?

Do I love her?

Him?

Hän?

Does it matter?

No.

Love who you love.

Be who you are.

 

*Hän is a gender neutral pronoun in Finnish.

Finding Yesterday – A Teen Poem

Posted on April 19th, 2012 by Anna in Events, Programs

 April is National Poetry Month and in celebration, we’re hosting several teen poetry programs here at the Central Library throughout vacation week. Yesterday’s workshop was called “Poetry In Hand” and incorporated Black Out poetry, Found poetry, and Magnetic Poetry.

The poem below was written by Anonymous at the Central Branch yesterday using Magnetic Poetry:

“FINDING YESTERDAY”

ONLY THIS LOVE

HEALS YOU AND I

IN OUR SLEEP

WE SHARE OUR PLEASURE

FLYING INTO A NIGHT SKY

THROUGH A TRANSITION

WE COME BACK

YOU AND I LINGER

THEN LET YOU AND I

HAVE ANOTHER

The Fist by Derek Walcott

Posted on April 12th, 2011 by bplteenintern in Books

The fist clenched round my heart

loosens a little, and I gasp

brightness; but it tightens

again. When have I ever not loved

the pain of love? But this has moved

 

past love to mania. This has the strong

clench of the madman, this is

gripping the ledge of unreason, before

plunging howling into the abyss.

 

Hold hard then, heart. This way at least you live.

 

 

Wow. This poem by Derek Walcott is a new favorite because of how intensely it captures these feelings of infatuation that can catch you at any moment. The movie Love, Actually has a scene like this. The little boy has admitted to his stepfather that he’s been quiet and withdrawn because he’s in love. Relieved, his step-dad ruffles his hair, saying he thought it was something worse. The boy, puzzled, responds with “worse than the total agony of being in love?” And sometimes yeah, total agony is the best way to describe it. But sometimes its comforting to know that you’re not alone in feeling that way.