Wednesday, May 12, 2021
Poetry Line by Line Unveils Homegrown Poets
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Thursday, April 8, 2021
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

The Hailey Public Library will celebrate National Poetry Month on Thursday with a Zoom presentation titled Poetry Line by Line.

Ten local poets, including Florence Blanchard, Jenny Emery Davidson, Tony Evans and Andy Kerstetter will read from their own work and/or selections from favorite writers. To attend, RSVP to Kristin.fletcher@haileypubliclibrary.org.

Fletcher said that National Poetry Month was organized by the Academy of American Poets in 1996 to increase the appreciation of poetry in the United States. Canada joined hands in the effort in 1999.

“It has an incredible history,” said Fletcher, the library’s programs and community engagement coordinator. “Even before people started writing the earliest forms of text, they recited or sang poems, often to remember instructions for everyday activities, major historical events or their genealogy. Poetry is truly the words of the people. It’s in that spirit we are hosting this special evening.”

The word ‘poetry’ is derived from a Greek word describing an activity in which a person brings something into being that did not exist before. Some of the earliest prehistoric poetry took the form of hunting songs in Africa passed down orally. The oldest epic poem was written in cuneiform on clay tablets about 3,000 BCE and the earliest written poetry in Africa was penned about 2,500 BCE.

Idaho’s best-known poet was Ezra Pound, who spent his very formative years in a white clapboard house at 314 Second Avenue in Hailey. He was born in the two-story white house that his father had built in 1885 and he went on to become a giant I the world of early 20th century literature.

He is best known for “The Cantos,” an epic poem that reaches across cultures and time periods with themes from Homer to Thomas Jefferson.

 

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