A Poetry Resource for Teachers

By accident, I found a great poetry resource that I can use in my teaching and my own personal research and writing: Representative Poetry Online. The site says of itself: “Representative Poetry Online includes 3,162 English poems by 500 poets from Caedmon, in the Old English period, to the work of living poets today. It is based on Representative Poetry, established by Professor W. J. Alexander of University College, University of Toronto, in 1912 (one of the first books published by the University of Toronto Press), and used in the English Department at the University until the late 1960s. Its electronic founder and editor since 1994 is Ian Lancashire, who is a member of the Department of English, University of Toronto.”

The value of the site is that there is so much material and so many poems together in one site. I often would have Google search for the text of a particular poem or a short bio of a particular poet, but I’m sure this site will lesson my search time. Here is the Web address: http://rpo.library.utoronto.ca/display_rpo/intro.cfm

I’ll close this post with a quote of Matthew Arnold (1822-1888) in his poem, “Bacchanalia.” He had a few insightful words to say about poets:

The world but feels the present’s spell,
The poet feels the past as well;
Whatever men have done, might do,
Whatever thought, might think it too.