It's a snowy winter evening. There's a power outage, leaving my television, computer and CD player out of commission, and me at a loose end for something to do. I scan my bookshelves by flashlight and select a volume of poetry. I stoke the wood stove, set out some candles and settle into an armchair to keep company with Walt Whitman, whose presence seems to occupy my room just beyond the circle of candlelight.
You don't have to wait for a power failure to fall under the spell of poetry, however. The Summit County Library houses the works of a host of classical and contemporary poets from around the world, including a selection of Spanish language and bilingual editions.
For starters, "An Invitation to Poetry: A New Favorite Poem Project Anthology" and "The Language of Life: A Festival of Poets" both offer an enticing smorgasbord of poems for readers to sample. The CD entitled "Poetry Speaks, Expanded" features poets from Tennyson to Plath reading their own work.
Aspiring poets can consult "Ordinary Genius: A Guide to the Poet Within," "The Rhythm Method, Razzmatazz, and Memory: How to Make Your Poetry Swing" and "Poet Power! The Practical Poet's Complete Guide to Getting Published."
Kids are naturals when it comes to poetry, for they are constantly improvising with vocal variations even before meeting up with Mother Goose. Our Summit County Library shelves at all three locations (Frisco, Breckenridge and Silverthorne) are well-stocked with children's books and audios such as "Poetry Speaks to Children," a selection of world poetry with accompanying CD, "A Family of Poems: My Favorite Poetry for Children" by Caroline Kennedy and "If Not for the Cat: Haiku" by Jack Prelutsky.
The electricity comes back on, and the refrigerator starts humming. But I don't get up to turn on the light. Instead I nestle down deeper into the easy chair and linger over my book of poetry while the snow falls outside.