{poetry} a commonplace book


Perusing the Academy of American Poet’s  “30 Ways to Celebrate Poetry Month” (Poets.org), I came upon this “way”: Start a commonplace book.

Since the Renaissance, devoted readers have been copying their favorite poems and quotations into notebooks to form their own personal anthologies called “commonplace books.” These collections can be a source of enjoyment and solace, reminding the keeper of favorite books and poems, and can even become family heirlooms. You may devote a corner of a regular journal to jotting down quotes or poems that strike your fancy or obtain a blank book just for this purpose.

Poets.org offers an online option, but the more I think about this “way” the more I like the idea of our having a binder or book of some sort where we can hand write, or paste, or bind in some fashion a collection for recollection. I adore this idea of each of us contributing to another in the family by means of poetry.

Handwritten would be beautiful (as long as it is mostly Sean’s and even Natalya’s when she leans into the page), but what to do about “Howl” because you know that will have to be included… I suppose we would keep our commonplace book with our volumes of already marked poems of so many remarked poets…  Already we’ll be finding a “box” to put our performed poems.

{image: [Commonplace book], [ca. 1708].  Manuscript on paper, in a single hand, containing about 74 entries of political prose, political and religious poetry, and religious prayers.   Beinecke call number: Osborn b63. from Beinecke Library’s Osborn Collection via}

Which poets or poems would you ink into your commonplace book?

One thought on “{poetry} a commonplace book

  1. That is a really neat idea! Wouldn’t it be fun to go through other people’s commonplace books?

    I would have Poe, Keats, Shakespeare, Milloy for certain in there. Also Tennyson.

thoughts? would love to hear them...

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