Thursday, February 23, 2017

Poetry Friday--A Grimm Birthday

On this day in 1786, Wilhelm Karl Grimm, German story teller and collector of tales, was born in Hanau, Germany. He and his brother, Jacob, who had been born in 1785, grew up to become famous for what is known as Grimms' Fairy Tales.

Lisel Mueller, in her collection Alive Together: New and Selected Poems [811.54 MUE] has a Grimm-related poem that is perfect for today:
Reading The Brothers Grimm To Jenny

Jenny, your mind commands
kingdoms of black and white:
you shoulder the crow on your left,
the snowbird on your right;
for you the cinders part
and let the lentils through,
and noise falls into place
as screech or sweet roo-coo,
while in my own, real, world
gray foxes and gray wolves
bargain eye to eye,
and the amazing dove
takes shelter under the wing
of the raven to keep dry.

Knowing that you must climb,
one day, the ancient tower
where disenchantment binds
the curls of innocence,
that you must live with power
and honor circumstance,
that choice is what comes true--
oh, Jenny, pure in heart,
why do I lie to you?

Why do I read you tales
in which birds speak the truth
and pity cures the blind,
and beauty reaches deep
to prove a royal mind?
Death is a small mistake
there, where the kiss revives;
Jenny, we make just dreams
out of our unjust lives.

Still, when your truthful eyes,
your keen, attentive stare,
endow the vacuous slut
with royalty, when you match
her soul to her shimmering hair,
what can she do but rise
to your imagined throne?
And what can I, but see
beyond the world that is,
when, faithful, you insist
I have the golden key--
and learn from you once more
the terror and the bliss,
the world as it might be?

I hope you will seek out this volume of poetry for it is filled with many other, equally thoughtful, poems.

Today's Poetry Friday Round-Up is being hosted by Karen Edmisten*. Please stop by.

Making Plans for February Vacation

February vacation begins Friday afternoon right after the last bell rings!

There are a number of things you can do with the kids besides traveling to ski resorts and heading south to Orlando. Friday and Saturday, in Lowell, MA (a short drive from here) there is the 2017 Lowell Winterfest. There will be soup, chocolate, music, and special activities for the kids!

How about visiting a museum? Your library card allows you access to reduced admission pricing at many museums in NH and MA. Click here to learn more.

At the Nesmith Library we have a number of activities planned. On Tuesday, February 28, from 1:00 to 3:00 children are invited to the library to create their own gingerbread houses with graham crackers. This activity is open to children of all ages and no registration is required.

Wednesday, March 1, from 10:00 to 11:00, is Makerspace Club. Kids will make duct tape flowers, and construct marble runs. This event is for children ages 7 and up; registration is required. Also on Wednesday is a Teen Harry Potter Interactive Movie (for ages 11 and up); registration is required.

Thursday, March 2, help celebrate Dr. Seuss's birthday at 10:30. Try your luck at Dr. Seuss Book Bingo and enjoy a special birthday cake! This program is for children ages 5 and up; registration is required.

Of course, you can always come to the Library to take out books, DVDs, and CDs to bring home or keep the kids entertained in the car.

There is something for every kid at the Library!

Have a great vacation!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Literary Mystery

One hundred sixty-five years ago, a novel titled, Life and Adventures of Jack Engle, was published anonymously, and soon forgotten. Last summer the novel was discovered and found to be the work of Walt Whitman, a man better known for his poetry than his fiction. On Monday, The New York Times reported on the discovery, and the re-publication, of the book. It seems that this mystery novele provides a clue to the real-life mystery of who Walt Whitman really was.

Life and Adventures of Jack Engle is found on the Walt Whitman Quarterly Review website; click here.

You can read more about Walt Whitman the man in Walt Whitman's America: A Cultural Biography by David S. Reynolds or in any of the other Whitman biographies in our collection. We also have a PBS "American Experience" episode, Walt Whitman, [DVD B WHI].

Whitman's Complete Poetry and Collected Prose is found in 811.3 WHI.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Back in 2009, a nonfiction book was published that spent more than a year on the NY Times Bestseller List: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot [616.0277 SKL, AB/CD 616.0277 SKL, eBook].

HBO has adapted the book and it will be shown on Sunday, April 22. Henrietta Lacks' daughter is played by Oprah Winfrey. Once the movie has aired, I'm sure there will be renewed interest in the original book. If you haven't already read the book, I'd suggest you do it now!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Poetry Friday--Black History Month

This week let's celebrate the poetry of Rita Dove. Ms. Dove won a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1987, and served a term as United States Poet Laureate (1993–95).

On the Bus with Rosa Parks: Poems [811 DOV] was published in 1999. Here is part of the publisher's description: "...these poems explore the intersection of individual fates with the grand arc of history. If there are heroes, Dove maintains, they continually reinvent themselves, as each of us must do every morning..."

Back when the earth was new
and heaven just a whisper,
back when the names of things
hadn't had time to stick;

back when the smallest breezes
melted summer into autumn,
when all the poplars quivered
sweetly in rank and file...

the world called, and I answered.
Each glance ignited to a gaze.
I caught my breath and called that life,
swooned between spoonfuls of lemon sorbet.

I was pirouette and flourish,
I was filigree and flame.
How could I count my blessings
when I didn't know their names?

Back when everything was still to come,
luck leaked out everywhere.
I gave my promise to the world,
and the world followed me here.

For the Poetry Friday Round-Up visit my librarian friend, Jone, at Check It Out.

If You Missed These the First Time

There are plenty of books to listen to besides the ones on today's bestsellers list. The books that were popular a year or two ago are still worth reading. You may have chosen to skip a title due to the holds list and then gone on to forget you wanted to read it. Now's the time to catch up on those titles you missed.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Happy Birthday Susan B. Anthony!

Today is the 197th anniversary of the birth of suffragist Susan B. Anthony. She was born in Adams, MA and died in Rochester, NY in 1906.

In 1872, Susan B. Anthony voted in Rochester and was arrested for the crime of voting illegally in the presidential election (women were not granted the right to vote until 1920). She was convicted in a highly publicized trial, one in which the judge directed the jury to issue a guilty verdict. Anthony was ordered to pay a fine of $100, but she refused to do it. The Rochester authorities declined to take further action.

In 1878, Anthony and fellow activist, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, arranged for California senator, Aaron A. Sargent, to present an amendment giving women the right to vote. Known as the Anthony Amendment it took 42 years (1920) before it was finally ratified as the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Read more about Anthony and Stanton's work for women's suffrage in Not for Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony by Geoffrey C. Ward [920 WAR].

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day!

The Library has been closed the last two days for snow, but we're now open and playing catch-up. So, for today, a simple wish to all:

© Eric Carle

Download a card by Eric Carle here

© Lita Judge

© Wendell Minor

© Ashley Wolff

All images posted by the artists on Facebook.

Visit the Library today and borrow one of the many picture books we have by these illustrators. Have a LOVEly day!

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Poetry Friday--Black History Month

February is Black History Month and for today, and the next two Fridays, I'll be featuring a black poet. Today let's look at a little-known poet, Paul Laurence Dunbar, 1872-1906. Perhaps Dunbar would be better known if he hadn't died of tuberculosis, cutting short his career in his early thirties. To learn more about Dunbar borrow this recent addition to the children's biography section, Jump Back, Paul: The Life and Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar, written by Sally Derby and illustrated by Sean Qualls [J B DUN].

There is a line from one of Dunbar's poems that is more famous than the man who wrote it and is frequently thought of as being written by another poet. That line is, "I know why the caged bird sings," and the other poet is Maya Angelou, who titled her autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings [B ANG, AB/CD B ANG, also eBook].

Here is Dunbar's poem, which you can find in Jump Back, Paul:

I know what the caged bird feels, alas!
     When the sun is bright on the upland slopes;
When the wind stirs soft through the springing grass,
And the river flows like a stream of glass;
     When the first bird sings and the first bud opes,
And the faint perfume from its chalice steals—
I know what the caged bird feels!

I know why the caged bird beats his wing
     Till its blood is red on the cruel bars;
For he must fly back to his perch and cling
When he fain would be on the bough a-swing;
     And a pain still throbs in the old, old scars
And they pulse again with a keener sting—
I know why he beats his wing!

I know why the caged bird sings, ah me,
     When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore,—
When he beats his bars and he would be free;
It is not a carol of joy or glee,
     But a prayer that he sends from his heart’s deep core,
But a plea, that upward to Heaven he flings—
I know why the caged bird sings!

The poem is also found at the Library of Congress blog, "From the Catbird Seat," in a post titled, "The Caged Bird Sings: Paul Laurence Dunbar at the Library of Congress."

Visit Katie at The Logonauts for the Poetry Friday Round-Up.

Alice in Wonderland

Yesterday, I posted the White Rabbit's "I'm Late" song and I thought today I'd tell you about all the Alice in Wonderland related items we have in our collection.

There are the original books by Lewis Carroll: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland; and, Through the Looking Glass with illustrations by John Tenniel [J CAR and eBook].
Lewis Carroll is the pseudonym of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832-1898). He wrote Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland for the amusement of eleven-year-old Alice Liddell and her two sisters, who were the daughters of the dean of Christ Church College, Oxford, where Dodgson taught mathematics. The book was published in 1865, and its first companion volume, Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, followed in 1871.

We also have other versions illustrated by different artists [J CAR].

There are adaptations for young readers such as the "Stepping Stones" version in eBook format, and, a stick-figure illustrated version by Jamison Odone [J ODO].

Of course there are several filmed and animated versions including the most recent one starring Johnny Depp [DVD ALI].

Also of interest may be The Other Alice: The Story of Alice Liddell and Alice in Wonderland by Christina Bjork [J 823 BJO] and The Lives of the Muses: Nine Women & the Artists They Inspired by Francine Prose [700 PRO].