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Our latest Newsletter: The Librarian

Reading Room

April is National Poetry Month

According to the website of The Academy of American Poets (, National Poetry Month is a month-long, national celebration of poetry established by the Academy of American Poets in 1996 to widen the attention of individuals and the media—to the art of poetry, to living poets, to our complex poetic heritage, and to poetry books and journals of wide aesthetic range and concern. Their hope is to increase the visibility and availability of poetry in popular culture while acknowledging and celebrating poetry’s ability to sustain itself in the many places where it is practiced and appreciated.

To celebrate National Poetry Month, and in anticipation of Spring, here are some poems, selected by Library staff, to share.


(Cate Marvin, Merrill House Writer-In Residence, Fall 2009)

It was a town so quiet, the mailman was empty-handed. Why then nostrils of bloom, breathing so pinkly?

Even the town crier had taken a vow of silence. Why at the house’s edge, beneath a wide-eyed window?

A pink so dense it begged hiding. Unsiblinged, unmated, the moon might find one rocking in a hedge of pink.

It was a town clothed from head to toe: skirts draped its ankles, sleeves were buttoned tight at its wrists.

So why a shimmered curtain, less a curtain than a sheer view of two figures on a bed, eyes affixed to a blue flickering?

Blooms pink as baby mice, soft as tiny hands, cluttering the bush as if in celebration. Why a town that never smiled?

A figure lifted an arm to the nightstand, drank long a glass of amber. Blue light flickered to the metronome of drama.

Nobody touched nobody. Invisible figures mowed lawns soundlessly. The halls, everywhere, blue and institutional.

Where cars never drove with their windows rolled down. A town where anything might happen, except for me.

The flowers, only the flowers had hearts. Even birds pretended, their beating of wings mechanized by meanness.

Except for the petals that touched my fingers, except for the little oceans I viewed their pinks through,

except the tongue that was my nose, the whiskers I wore as I crawled on my knees through yards,

beneath the fresh fingers of azalea blooms, beneath a window that flickered blue, to where my smile grew.

Dust of Snow

(Robert Frost, 1874-1963)

The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree

Has given my heaert
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I had rued.


An altered look about the hills

(Emily Dickinson, 1830-1886)

An altered look about the hills;
A Tyrian light the village fills;
A wider sunrise in the dawn;
A deeper twilight on the lawn;
A print of a vermilion foot;
A purple finger on the slope;
A flippant fly upon the pane;
A spider at this trade again;

An added strut in chanticleer;
A flower expected everywhere;
An axe shrill singing in the woods;
Fern-odors on untraveled roads,-
All this, and more I cannot tell,
A furtive look you know as well,
And Nicodemus’ mystery
Receives its annual reply.

‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers

(Emily Dickinson, 1830-1886)

“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 may warm-

I’ve heard it in the chillest land-
And on the strangest Sea-
Yet, never, in Extremity,
It asked a crumb-of Me.

The Library takes pride in its poetry collection and invites you to borrow some of our newer additions, as well as those you will find shelved with the adult, young adult and children’s books.

Planisphere: New Poems by John Ashbery.
Essential Pleasures edited by Robert Pinsky.
The Simple Truth by Philip Levine.
Behind the Wheel: Poems About Driving by Janet S. Wong.
Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry selected by Billy Collins.


The Stonington Free Library is excited to welcome the University of Connecticut’s Opera Outreach program with their adaptation of the Humperdinck opera, Hansel and Gretel. They will be performing at the Stonington High School Auditorium on Saturday, February 6, at 2 PM. The doors will open at 1:30 pm. Admission is free, but seating is limited. Come enjoy this story of two resourceful children, based on the Brothers Grimm folktale.


Our second annual Mystery Dinner is in the planning stages and we are putting out a “Call to Host.” The dinner is planned for early May (date to be determined based on other community events) and we would love to include a wider variety of host homes to accommodate this fun "friend raiser" for the Library. If you have interest in hosting 6-10 people at your home for this event, please email ( or call (860-287-2000) Committee Chair Ruth Saunders for more details. Tickets will go on sale the end of March. We sold out last year, so call (860-535-0268) for your tickets early!


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