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Poetry and Poetry Criticism


HOW TO FIND A POEM


On the Web

There is a great deal of older and contemporary poetry easily accessible on the web. Use your favorite search engine to look for titles, phrases, or authors.

Here are a few fulltext websites especially recommended for poetry:

In the Library

Long, separately published poems, such as The Faerie Queene, Paradise Lost, La Chanson de Roland, El Cid Campeador, the Waste Land, or The Odyssey, can be found in the HSU Library catalog by title (and by author, if one is known). But most poems are not published separately. Instead, they are included in anthologies, periodicals, or in collections of a single author's work. The library has indexes that cover some poetry anthologies and poetry in periodicals. Below are some examples in the Reference Collection. For help in using these indexes, please come to the Reference desk.

HOW TO FIND COLLECTIONS OF POETRY ON A PARTICULAR SUBJECT


In the Library

Use Advanced Search in the HSU Library Catalog and search by Subject to find collections of poems on a particular subject or by a particular type of authors. Use all of these for your descriptive terms, and include NOT criticism in the search. Here are some examples of descriptive terms to use:

abraham lincoln poetry
african american poetry
birds poetry
christmas poetry
mexican american poetry
love poetry
poetry collections
poetry women authors

You may want to browse on the third floor of the Library where literature is shelved. Here are some general call numbers to guide you:

PN 6099-6110 Miscellaneous and general poetry collections
PN 6109.9 Miscellaneous and general collections of poetry by women authors
PR 117-1227 Collections of English poetry
PS 589 Collections of American poetry by women
PS 591 American poetry collections arranged by ethnic group

HOW TO FIND CRITICISM OF POEMS


In the Library

Electronic Subscription Sources - These sources are linked on the library homepage under Articles and Databases. They are available to anyone in the library or on campus, and from off campus locations to Humboldt State University faculty, staff, and currently enrolled students only.

Print Sources

These sources are in the Reference Collection. A reference librarian can help you use them.

For books of poetry criticism, use the HSU Library Catalog. Keyword searching is usually best. You can search for general criticism, criticism of movements, or of individual authors or even poems. When you start with keyword searching, remember to check the Subject(s) for other terms or forms of the words you've used. These will often find more items than your keyword search did.

Books about an author often include analysis of major works. To find books in our general collection, try a keyword search in the HSU Library Catalog, using the author's name and the words criticism and interpretation, for example:

"seamus heaney" criticism interpretation

If this search finds nothing, try:

"rita dove" criticism

Long poems may have entire books written about them. In this case, their titles are part of the subject heading, e.g.:

Eliot, T.S. (Thomas Stearns), 1888-1965. Waste Land.

To find these books, use Advanced Search in the HSU Library Catalog, and search for eliot and waste land in subject. If that search returns nothing, you may be able to find criticism of individual books with a keyword search, in Basic Search, like this:

heaney "station island" criticism

Though specific search protocols may vary, these techniques will find books in the catalogs of other libraries, too. You can request such books on interlibrary loan, if our library doesn't have what you need.

FOR MORE HELP WITH ANY OF YOUR RESEARCH NEEDS, PLEASE ASK A LIBRARIAN