TBPL Staff Poetry Favourites

To celebrate National Poetry Month, we’re featuring the favourite poems or poets of Thunder Bay Public Library Staff.

Michelle is a member of our reference department at the Brodie branch. She came across her poem through a novel:

I first stumbled across the last 4 lines of this sonnet while reading the novel Ordinary People by Judith Guest.  It spoke to me about the perseverance and strength of man in the face of adversity.

tumblr - millay
Image via Vassar Archives. She was a member of the 1917 class.

Sonnet CLXXI by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Read history: thus learn how small a space
You may inhabit, nor inhabit long
In crowding Cosmos–in that confined place
Work boldly; build your flimsy barriers strong;
Turn round and round and, make warm you nest; among
The other hunting beasts, keep heart and face,–
Not to betray the doomed and splendid race
You are so proud of, to which you belong.
For trouble comes to all of us: the rat
Has courage, in adversity, to fight;
But what a shining animal is man,
Who knows, when pain subsides, that is not that,
For worse than that must follow–yet can write
Music; can laugh; play tennis; even plan.
Click here to learn more about Edna St Vincent Mallay at TBPL.

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