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Poet of the Month on The Lois Level

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Simon Beattie giving a talk about Friedo Lampe’s At the Edge of Night, which he translated, then doing a reading from the book. Lampe was a writer, librarian and publisher in Germany, he was also disabled and gay. He survived the evils of the Nazi regime (although his home was bombed and his precious lifetime book collection destroyed), only to be shot in a tragic misunderstanding by Soviet soldiers as the war was ending. Churchill, Edinburgh, Scotland 29 March 2019.

Each month, The Lois Level recognizes the work of a poet born during that month by sharing one poem each Wednesday. 

Poetry is one of the earliest forms of literature, preceding written prose and most definitely fiction of all kinds. Before the days of widespread written literacy, poetry was easier to remember and share because its rhythm and rhyme. 

The core structures of poetry connect with humans at the biological level. The most common rhythmic form, iambic meter, is the pattern of unstress/stress that mimics the human heartbeat.  The heartbeat is the first sound we all hear in the womb. 

Poetry is a verbal art form that aims to get beyond the verbal. While some poems do tell stories, most often poetry, modern poetry in particular, is concerned with putting words to other senses, such as sight, sound, and touch, and even more often, attempts to directly access human emotion. 

Poetry is also short and does not require a large time commitment to read and enjoy.  We encourage you to use these posts to take a moment from your busy day to recharge through reflection on the basic instincts we all share. 

The poems are chosen on the basis of widespread appeal and accessibility.  They are generally selected from one collection of the poet’s work that is in print at time of the posting so that it’s easy for you to access and read more of the poet’s work if it appeals.  Because The Lois Level is about access to great books, generally the focus will be on established poets whose work is widely available in book-length collections. 

Because of small press runs, poetry books can be expensive in comparison to other forms of literature, so it is nice to be able to “test drive” a poet’s work through the library.  The great thing about poetry is that it is meant to be read repeatedly, and we encourage you to invest in poets and poems who speak to you so that their words can become part of your soul. 

Poetry is something that many of us never see outside of our formal educations, and that is a shame.  This series is an effort to help us, and you, make poetry the everyday part of life that it is meant to be. 

Join us on this journey.

For more about poetry, check out Reading Poetry: Why and How

Share your thoughts! We want to hear your perspective and most definitely your reading recommendations!