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Belle Isle Library Celebrates National Poetry Month with Edgar Guest Event

Edgar Guest was once one of the most popular poets in America.  His life and work are being rediscovered during National Poetry Month at the Belle Isle Library, 5501 N. Villa. 

“Our Edgar Guest celebration will be on Saturday, April 25, from 2 to 3pm,” said librarian Ann Meeks.  “Although Guest was considered the most American of poets, he was actually born in England and came to America with his parents when he was a small boy.  He got a job working for the Detroit Free Press when he was just 13.  His poems were part of the syndicated newspaper column he later wrote, and he turned out over 11,000 of them in 40 years.”

National Poetry Month was conceived by The Academy of American Poets and was first celebrated in April, 1996.  Its purpose is to increase the public’s awareness of poetry as a living literary genre.  So successful have the events associated with it become, Canada began its own version in 1999, and Great Britain joined in a year later.

“Guest’s poetry,” Meeks added, “is known for sentiment and optimism, and he emphasized rhyme and meter.  His verse is easy to understand and his popularity earned him the nickname ‘The People’s Poet’.”

Three presenters will share some of Guest’s best work and give an overview of his life and times.  Refreshments will be provided.

Perhaps Guest’s best remembered line comes from the poem “Home,” published in a collection in 1916:

Home ain't a place that gold can buy or get up in a minute;

 Afore it's home there's got t' be a heap o' living in it."

 For more information about “The Life and Poetry of Edgar Guest,” please call the Belle Isle Library at 843-9601.

The Metropolitan Library System of Oklahoma County includes 12 libraries and five extension libraries.  Libraries include Belle Isle, Capitol Hill, Ralph Ellison, Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library and Southern Oaks in Oklahoma City, as well as Bethany, Choctaw, Del City, Edmond, Midwest City, Village and Warr Acres.  Extensions are located in the communities of Harrah, Jones, Luther and Nicoma Park and include Wright Library in Oklahoma City.  You can also reach us at www.metrolibrary.org.