So since Today was a pretty grey day and I had some errands to run, I found myself walking past where I used to work years ago to visit the very unassuming library to do a bit of actual research, I was in a nearby town close to the family home.
Two things happened today, I ventured out to do stuff and in doing so, I put on a smart shirt, some perfume and some heels along with my jeans and a leather jacket, did hair and make up and felt like I had returned to the land of the living for the day. I refused to let the debilitating headache which has plagued for a week get the best of me today and now that the shakes have stopped (almost) I decided to get things done…
So having not got any answers as to how many poems in a book is a good idea. I thought I would flick through the shelves and look at the children and adult poetry sections there for inspiration or to at least figure that bit out.
I located one of the librarians who gave me directions to the bottom shelf, where I was faced with the grand sum of less than 2ft of one shelf with poetry books. Hmm, I thought nervously, (and more than a little hopefully) maybe poetry is such a great thing that all the books are out. Alas no, this was all they had, I hoped that my choice of genre was not a bad one after all. That is not really going to light up my life is it, about 20 books! Dismayed I sat cross legged on the floor, I opened the first book, the rough carpet under me since there was no sign of a comfy chair on which to sit and I was not going to be emptying the meagre shelf just for a look. I hoped that no-one would tread on me in their stampede on their way past to the craft afternoon which was just about to start and rather wished I had made the journey to the other old library, where I used to go as a child after all. Now that was all that you want a library to be. It was beautiful old building with solid wooden panels and shelves and you could lose several hours there with a good book looking out over some lovely gardens. Or perhaps the one in the nearest town to me, which is huge and has regular exhibitions and lots of seating. But there I was for a a short time transported back to a world which reminded me that I love reading and if the floor is the only place to sit, it really didn’t matter.
I picked up the first book, which was a collection of the poetry that used to be on the underground. I was quite surprised that the book was over 300 pages deep, but then had large widely spaced text, small poems, one to a page or more and lots of chapter pages too, so a lot of that was information and credits. There were over 100 poems though. So if I am going to follow that route then I will need to write a few more and include all the ones I have already written.
I picked up another book, of Love poems the contents slightly less at just under 200 pages, with about 20 of them being allocated to indexing and notes.
I found a few which only had 30-40 poems in them and some of them were also very short so it seems that there is a whole host of ways to go.
The things I noticed from my little bit of research about this is;
All the books listed the poems, in the index by the first line of the poem.
Only some of them listed the poems by name.
They were not split into subject matter.
They were randomly included in each book.
Most had less than 180 pages including the indexes and afterward.
Almost anything goes…
So it seems that although there are no hard and fast rules about which way to go, for any of you who like me, are on the route to your first book of poetry, I hope this little list helps you out.
What struck me though was the bizarre mixture of poetry which jumped off the page and stuck in my head as I left there. Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf by Roald Dahl, Still I Rise, by Maya Angelou and The Tyger by William Blake, all so vastly different.
I may have to visit the other libraries anyway all in the name of research of course! to see what else I can find out. I feel my research is incomplete, plus it will give me the opportunity to read a few more books and see what exhibitions are happening locally. Now who could pass up an opportunity like that. Plus, I enjoy the silence with which to read, it makes the memories last so much longer without distractions. The silence was definitely missing in today’s library, there was noise and bustle and things going on, along with a loud conversation between the librarians about recycling and composting bags and how many of them they are selling at the moment. Perhaps I am recalling times gone by, a flashback to the past, when libraries were a place for peace and quiet. Perhaps it was that this was a small community library that they were holding events in the midst of it, so should I be seeking that serenity elsewhere?