Poetry is defined as the "art of rhythmical composition, written or spoken", for the purpose of bringing enjoyment to people reading or hearing it, through the "beautiful, imaginative or elevated thoughts" it presents.

I learned when I was very young that poetry can take many forms, not all of them understandable or even liked by me. But at some point, I was introduced by my mom to the poetry of an American poet by the name of Ogden Nash and instantly fell in love with his short, witty and quite often pointed verses.

This is one of his poems which I memorized as a kid and have never forgotten.


There was a young belle of Natchez

Whose garments were always in patchez.

When comment arose

On the state of her clothes,

She drawled, "When Ah itchez, Ah scratchez!"

He was also the author of the famous verse, "Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker!"

Shel Silverstein is another of my personal favorites, and yes, I'll admit it; I also love Shakespeare and Robert Frost too.

My preferences aside, it is National Poetry Month, and here in Sioux Falls the Siouxland Libraries are hosting a number of events for you to enjoy and to immerse yourself in the art that is poetry.

  • Siouxland Libraries Fourth Annual Poetry Slam: At Remedy Brewing Company, 401 E. 8th Street, Suite 120, this Friday, April 6, from 6:30 to 8 PM. You can just listen to other people's poetry or read your own original work. (Register at Siouxland Libraries or call 605-367-8700).
  • Poem in Your Pocket Day:Saturday, April 7, from 10:30 AM to 12 noon at the Prairie West Branch library at 7630 West 26th Street. This is a poetry-themed storytime followed by crafts and activities for children ages 3 to 8. Call 605-978-6899 for more information.
  • Poetry Party: At the Downtown Library, 200 North Dakota Avenue on Tuesday, April 10 from 4 to 5 PM. Everyone can participate in reading, writing and reciting poems. Call 605-367-8700 for more information.
  • A Conversation - Poetry and Book Talk: Also at the Downtown Library on Monday, April 16, from 7 to 8:30 PM. Members of the Women Poets Collective will read poems that cover the topic of family from their latest books and people are invited to listen in and then join in a discussion.

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