April is soon departing and along with it goes Poetry Month. The authors have been reflecting on poetry; we aren’t sure if it is less popular or if the fact that now we have many options for focusing on whatever subject matter, genre or style of writing instead of having the local paper that had to cover it all, so we are not aware of its popularity. Whichever the case, poetry was commonly found in our past, Twitter not having been invented yet.

Among our papers we have a few scrapbooks. One, put together by Ruth Lydecker Penny, the lovely wife of Esmond “Pete” Penny. We were gifted Mrs. Penny’s scrapbooks and one of the things she documented her life with was poems cut from newspapers. We aren’t sure exactly which papers they were gleaned from, but here is a sampling.

our home

Most of the local papers would print poems on a fairly regular basis. Mr. Sutter, the Grand Poobah of Hampton Bays, as he was referred to by Dr. Bellows, was a prolific poet and his jottings peppered our local Hampton Bays News. Whether Mr. Sutter liked poetry or, as the paper’s editor and publisher, he was looking for ways to fill the space – and who would do that? – we do not know. Whatever the reason, he provided us with some gems.

our town

It makes sense that poetry was included in weeklies. Poetry is believed to predate written text. Oral histories, traditions and other important historical details were passed along through rhyming verse, often as a song or chant. It further makes sense that many of the poems that appear in our local papers reflected events of the day. Not surprisingly, during the World Wars, there was a variety of verse waxing poetic about missing loved ones, home, and the joys of being a soldier.


And of course there were holiday or seasonal sonnets.

Should we have inspired our readers to pick up a pen and write a poesy, you may consider joining the Poetry Rising Group, which will be meeting right here at our library on Saturdays, May 14 & June 11; 1:00-3:00PM. They are an informal poetry group facilitated by Beverly Livernoche

Lastly, we are tickled to have received the following bouts-rime! Our poetess chose the following words for her bouts-rime Rhyme:

Dance, Cringe, Glance, Fringe, Twinge, Expanse, Cracks, Slacks
Afraid in front of people to dance
for fear one look would make them cringe
I hoped they wouldn’t take a glance
at my place on the dance floor fringe
when all of a sudden I felt a twinge
and then a slight expanse
trying not to step on the cracks
my moves had caused me to tear my slacks!

Thank you Anita for sharing your talents!