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Archive: 2013 (10 Posts)

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A Thanksgiving Poem for Lincoln

Posted by: Peter Armenti

On October 3, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation that declared “the last Thursday of November next as a Day of Thanksgiving and Praise.” Lincoln’s famous Thanksgiving Day proclamation was in large part undertaken at the urging of  Sarah Josepha Hale—poet, novelist, editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book, and, lest we forget, author of the …

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W. H. Auden and Benjamin Britten

Posted by: Peter Armenti

On Friday, one of our sister blogs, the Music Division’s In the Muse, marked the hundredth birthday of British composer Benjamin Britten. Highlighting some of Music Division’s important Britten holdings, the post references a recording of Britten’s collaborator Peter Pears reciting W. H. Auden’s sonnet “The Composer” as part of a 1980 program at the …

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Former Poets Laureate Battle for Pop Culture Supremacy

Posted by: Peter Armenti

On Tuesday Former Poet Laureate Billy Collins achieved a type of immortality that has eluded all but a handful of poets: he appeared on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report. In addition to discussing his new book, Aimless Love: New and Selected Poems, Collins talked about his time as Poet Laureate, describing how one becomes Poet …

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Why I Love My District of Literature

Posted by: Peter Armenti

The following is a guest post by Abby Yochelson, English and American Literature Reference Specialist at the Library of Congress’s Main Reading Room. While the upcoming District of Literature program on September 30th celebrates literature throughout the District of Columbia, my district on Capitol Hill is astonishing. I both work at the Library of Congress …

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The Caged Bird Sings: Paul Laurence Dunbar at the Library of Congress

Posted by: Peter Armenti

Paul Laurence Dunbar, one of the first African-Americans to develop a national reputation for his poetry,  was born on this day in 1872. To celebrate his life and work,  the Library held a literary birthday reading earlier today featuring noted poets Holly Bass and Al Young, who read selections from Dunbar’s poetry and discussed his …

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The First Publication of “Casey at the Bat”

Posted by: Peter Armenti

The Library of Congress Blog yesterday celebrated the 125th anniversary of Ernest L. Thayer’s iconic baseball poem “Casey at the Bat” by featuring a recording of the poem made for the occasion, by Washington Nationals radio broadcaster Dave Jageler. Fans of the poem definitely will want to compare Jageler’s interpretation to the classic 1909 recording …

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The Return of the Once and Future King

Posted by: Peter Armenti

The following is a guest post by Mark F. Hall, a research specialist in the Library of Congress’s Digital Reference Section. The chivalrous tales of King Arthur and his knights have remained popular in various genres and formats from the Middle Ages to the present day. The historical Arthur is believed to have lived in …

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Richard Blanco’s Inaugural Poem: “One Today”

Posted by: Peter Armenti

Leading up to his performance at Barack Obama’s second presidential inauguration, Richard Blanco’s biography—he is the first openly gay and first Latino Inaugural Poet—was the focus of the media. Last Monday, however, Blanco finally had a chance to let his poetry take center stage. Blanco’s inaugural poem, “One Today,” was and is a celebration of …