City of Winnipeg | Libraries

The Beautiful Combination of Poetry & Prose

I am a hoarder of quotes and poems. Well, perhaps hoarder is not the best term, collector seems more accurate as amassing beautiful verses and prose is not something to be frowned upon in my mind. When I read a beautifully written sentence or passage in a novel that moves me or gives me goosebumps I have to jot it down, the same with poetry and movie quotes. I have two journals full of my favourite quotations and poems written down and am always on the lookout for more. My favourite poem by far would have to be E.E. Cummings’ i carry your heart with me (i carry it in). It is such a beautiful poem that explains the feeling of loving someone, whether they are a friend, sibling, relative, boyfriend or girlfriend. It moves me every time I read it.

This past-time of mine is the reason behind my selection of these beautifully written novels that incorporate my love of prose and poetry. I guarantee you, there are poems and passages from these books that have made my journals of quotes, and I hope they make yours as well.

And We StayAnd We Stay by Jenny Hubbard
Jenny Hubbard’s novel is a flowing, moving work that feels like a poem itself. Emily Beam, a senior in high school who, after experiencing a trauma, moves to a boarding school in the very town where poet Emily Dickinson lived. Emily Beam, like Dickinson, is a poet and becomes inspired by Emily Dickinson’s life and poetry. We learn of Emily’s troubles and her past trauma through poetry she feels compelled to write. A story of friendship and tragedy, this was an achingly beautiful novel that will also give you a taste of Dickinson’s poetry, which may encourage you to read more from this incredible poet.

The Sky is Every WhereThe Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Jandy Nelson’s novel is another emotional and beautifully written novel. It follows seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker who recently lost her older sister, and her complicated relationship with two boys; one was her sister’s boyfriend, the other a talented musician. Nelson includes an interesting twist to Lennie’s poetry, which you will just have to read to find out what it is. You will be touched, heartbroken and may indeed cry, but it is a beautiful story, made even better by incorporating some wonderful poems.

Getting The GirlGetting the Girl by Markus Zusak
Markus Zusak’s novel is a story about a quiet teen named Cameron Wolfe, the youngest of four siblings who has trouble expressing himself out loud, yet finds he is able to speak through his poems. Through his writings we see Cam is a lost soul searching for strength and meaning in his life, and Zusak understands the struggle of finding oneself and relates it perfectly in this novel that is eloquent and truthful.

If you enjoy not only reading but also writing poetry like the protagonists in these novels, the library is having Hidden Poetry & Button Making Workshops. Check out our At the Library newsletter for more details and how to register, or show off your book spine poetry skills when you join the Online Teen Summer Reading Club, it’s free.

— Aileen

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