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It’s National Poetry Month, and who better to be the poet of the week then one of the most popular poets in America.  Billy Collins has said about his poetry that it is “suburban, it’s domestic, it’s middle class, and it’s sort of unashamedly that.” Accessible, delightful, and celebrating and mourning the highs and lows of everyday life, we encourage you to give one of his poetry anthologies a try.

Check out what’s available in our catalog.

Here’s a favorite poem, for a sample of his work:

Marginalia

Sometimes the notes are ferocious,
skirmishes against the author
raging along the borders of every page
in tiny black script.
If I could just get my hands on you,
Kierkegaard, or Conor Cruise O’Brien,
they seem to say,
I would bolt the door and beat some logic into your head.

Other comments are more offhand, dismissive –
‘Nonsense.’ ‘Please! ‘ ‘HA! ! ‘ –
that kind of thing.
I remember once looking up from my reading,
my thumb as a bookmark,
trying to imagine what the person must look like
why wrote ‘Don’t be a ninny’
alongside a paragraph in The Life of Emily Dickinson.

Students are more modest
needing to leave only their splayed footprints
along the shore of the page.
One scrawls ‘Metaphor’ next to a stanza of Eliot’s.
Another notes the presence of ‘Irony’
fifty times outside the paragraphs of A Modest Proposal.

Or they are fans who cheer from the empty bleachers,
Hands cupped around their mouths.
‘Absolutely,’ they shout
to Duns Scotus and James Baldwin.
‘Yes.’ ‘Bull’s-eye.’ ‘My man! ‘
Check marks, asterisks, and exclamation points
rain down along the sidelines.

And if you have managed to graduate from college
without ever having written ‘Man vs. Nature’
in a margin, perhaps now
is the time to take one step forward.

We have all seized the white perimeter as our own
and reached for a pen if only to show
we did not just laze in an armchair turning pages;
we pressed a thought into the wayside,
planted an impression along the verge.

Even Irish monks in their cold scriptoria
jotted along the borders of the Gospels
brief asides about the pains of copying,
a bird signing near their window,
or the sunlight that illuminated their page-
anonymous men catching a ride into the future
on a vessel more lasting than themselves.

And you have not read Joshua Reynolds,
they say, until you have read him
enwreathed with Blake’s furious scribbling.

Yet the one I think of most often,
the one that dangles from me like a locket,
was written in the copy of Catcher in the Rye
I borrowed from the local library
one slow, hot summer.
I was just beginning high school then,
reading books on a davenport in my parents’ living room,
and I cannot tell you
how vastly my loneliness was deepened,
how poignant and amplified the world before me seemed,
when I found on one page

A few greasy looking smears
and next to them, written in soft pencil-
by a beautiful girl, I could tell,
whom I would never meet-
‘Pardon the egg salad stains, but I’m in love.’

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It’s finally starting to feel like spring!  We know a lot of you will be doing your spring cleaning soon (or maybe you already have), and might be going through your books as well.   If you’re thinking of donating them, please bear in mind our guidelines for donation when you’re boxing them up.

  • You must bring books you are donating to the Circulation Desk during normal business hours.  Out of consideration for others, we request that you do not drop donations in the book returns or leave them in bags and boxes outside the library.
  • A form letter for tax purposes is available upon request; however the estimated valuation of the donation is the responsibility of the donor.

 We will only accept books that meet the following conditions:

  1. Materials must be in good physical condition (no water damage, mildew, underlining or highlighting).
  2. Paperback books must have covers intact.
  3. Fiction books will generally be accepted if in good condition.
  4. Non-fiction books must be relevant and should not be more than 5 years old.
  5. DVDs, Spoken Word Audio CDs, Children’s Books and Music CDs will be accepted.

The library will not accept:

  1. Materials that are mildewed, moldy, dirty, dried out, damp or musty smelling.
  2. Textbooks, medical or legal texts and workbooks that accompany textbooks.
  3. Encyclopedias.
  4. Magazines, including National Geographic.
  5. VHS and cassette tapes.
  6. Reader’s Digest condensed books.
  7. Games and puzzles.

Remember, books that cannot be donated can be recycled along with your household recycling.  Recycling old books helps the environment, however you should do this from home.  The Library is not responsible for recycling unacceptable donations and it will be the patron’s responsibility to remove these donations from the Library.

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It’s National Poetry Month!  It’s time to enjoy your favorite poets or find some new ones like Rumi, Billy Collins, e.e. cummings, an anthology of poets, or one of the many other famous and not-so-famous poets we have in the collection.  Don’t like poetry?  Not a problem.  Try a novel in verse, you might be surprised at how much you like it.  Some of the novels in verse in our collection are:

  • The Marlowe Papers by Ros Barber (secret identities, faked murder, and enough drama for at least three Shakespeare plays)
  • Lies, Knives and Girls in Red Dresses by Ron Koertge (modern true stories behind fairy tales)
  • Only Revolutions by Mark Z. Danielewski (a topsy-turvy modern Romeo and Juliet tale)
  • After the Kiss by Terra Elan McVoy (two high school seniors getting through their last semester)
  • The Hunchback of Neiman Marcus by Sonya Sones (a novel of middle age, motherhood, marriage and mayhem)

… the list goes on.  Try something new this month and tell us if you like it.  You can find more on the “Something Different” bookmarks at Circulation too.  You can find Novels in Verse and Poetry books in the catalog.

There are tons of events, support and ideas for National Poetry Month as well.  Check out some of these from ReadingRockets, ReadWriteThink & Scholastic.  The National Poetry Month official website has a lot of great resources as well including a poem a day, Dear Poet project, poem in your pocket day, and more!

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Mawlānā Jalāl-ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī, most commonly referred to as Rumi, was a 13th century Persian poet, Islamic scholar, and Sufi Mystic, among other things.  His poetry covers a wide range of topics, and are amazingly relatable and full of advice centuries later.  These two collections showcase this magnificent poet’s work.  One particular favorite is “Quietness” which can be found in The Essential Rumi.

In honor of National Poetry Month, Rumi is this week’s staff picked poet.

“From the premier interpreter of Rumi comes the first definitive one-volume collection of the enduringly popular spiritual poetry by the extraordinary thirteenth-century Sufi mystic.”–Taken from Goodreads.com


The Essential Rumi - reissue: New Expanded Edition

Coleman Barks

Published: May 28, 2004 by HarperOne
Find in the Library



The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems

Coleman Barks

Published: Sep 17, 2002 by HarperOne
Find in the Library


The Soul of Rumi is renowned poet Coleman Barks’ first major assemblage of newly translated Rumi poems since his bestselling The Essential Rumi.

“Coleman Barks presents entirely new translations of Rumi’s poems, published for the first time in The Soul of Rumi. The poems range over the breadth of Rumi’s themes: silence, emptiness, play, God, peace, grief, sexuality, music, to name just a few. But the focus is on the ecstatic experience of human and divine love and their inseparability, conveyed with Rumi’s signature passion, daring, and insights into the human heart and the heart’s longings.”– Taken from Goodreads.com

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Have you noticed a change with our ebook program?  You can check out our ebook page for support information, and/or you can come to our EBook Open Houses on Monday, April 6, from 7-8:30 pm and  Tuesday, April 28, from 7:00 – 8:30 PM in the Community Room.  We advise registering beforehand.  Please bring your eReader with you to the meeting. 

DigitalLibraryNJ now uses the 3M Cloud Library to make eBooks and eAudiobooks available to Franklin Township Library patrons. Visit our eBooks page for details on how to get the app for your device. Set up is easy: just select the library, then enter your barcode and PIN. Start browsing our collection of eBooks and eAudiobooks today! Click on Categories/Browse, or Search by title etc. to view our complete collection.

Please note that our collection may seem limited right now, but we are waiting for the publisher rights from our previous ebook provider to be transferred to 3M.

We will still have OneClickDigital audiobooks and ebooks available, and you can continue to use this service as normal.  OneClickDigital recently updated their website, and now the content is very easy to use.  OneClickDigital’s new platform is very similar to 3M Cloud Library, which will be our new ebook service.

You can see our ebook services anytime on our ebook webpage.

P.S. – Don’t forget we have 4 kindles with pre-loaded titles available for checkout.  These have great titles like The Girl on the Train, The Boston Girl, Leaving Time, Gray Mountain and more!  Please note that if it says it is “being repaired” it is probably available for checkout.  We evaluate their condition every time they are returned.

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