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Celebrate National Poetry Month with our new poetry books, and some verses from one of our library’s benefactors, George L. Gould.

April is National Poetry Month! Launched by the Academy of American Poets in April 1996, National Poetry Month is a special occasion that celebrates poets’ integral role in our culture and that poetry matters. In this blog post, we are going to share a couple of our newest poetry volumes added to our collection.

But first, we can’t help but share some verse written by one of the library’s most important benefactors, George L. Gould. His portrait graces the front of the library, by our Circulation Desk! Mr. Gould was a proprietor of the Gould and Cutler paint and varnish business in Boston, and served on the board of directors of Benjamin Moore paint, and was active in the Paint and Oil Club of New England, where he served as President. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the club around the turn of the twentieth century, Mr. Gould wrote a commemorative ode. Check out the library’s History page for more information on George Gould!


Commemorative Ode by George L. Gould

Some folks think our trade is common, and at times I think so, too :
What with dank and noisome odors, dirt and dust that fall like dew,
Clothes bespoiling, features soiling, fresh complaints in every mail,
‘Tis no wonder Competition makes a host of men, to fail.

Now we’ll leave this gloomy picture, turning to the other side,
When you’ve gazed enough upon it, then is born becoming pride.
Paint is needed and a blessing, on these points we’re up to date;
Let me show you why our products should uplift and educate.

How monotonous and wasteful, were it not for good mixed paint!
(We are now pure lead including, otherwise there’d be complaint.)
How it beautifies the landscape! Even Labor it exalts,
And, like Charity, it covers a whole multitude of faults.

E’en dull Earth must pay us tribute, from her storehouse deep and wide;
Clays and oxides ground to powder, changed by fire are purified.
Sable black, we must remember, does not always stand for gloom,
And, though lamp black aids the painter, we all give it largest room.

Don’t you see now why I’ve lectured? Haven’t I shown to you tonight
High and noble is our calling? Show me one has better right
To incite high aspirations, or the world to better make.
If you get my ideas clearly, let us then fresh courage take.

Read the full ode via Internet Archives, here.

Whether or not this ode to paint inspires you, there are many ways to celebrate National Poetry Month – sign up for A Poem a Day, explore your creativity through writing or crafting a poem of your own, or check out one of our many poetry books! To make your foray into poetry a little easier, we’ve selected a few of our newest editions to the collection. Click on the cover image to see the book in our library catalog.

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