Libraries and Poetry


April is a big month for libraries- it is National Poetry Month, and April 10-16 is National Library Week!  The two go hand in hand- poets love libraries, and it is part of the library’s mission to preserve and promote all forms of literature, including poetry. Many poets and other writers have written about libraries and the important role libraries have in their work and society in general.

“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.”

Jorge Luis Borges, Poem of the Gifts. 1899-1986, Argentine writer and poet.

“Leaving behind the babble of the plaza, I enter the library.  I feel, almost physically, the gravitation of the books, the enveloping serenity of order, time magically dessicated and preserved.”

Jorge Luis Borges, Dreamtigers. 1899-1986, Argentine writer and poet.

“The fact is that poetry is not the books in the library… Poetry is the encounter of the reader with the book, the discovery of the book.”

Jorge Luis BorgesPoetry. 1899-1986, Argentine writer and poet.

(Check out these books by Jorge Luis Borges at the McAllen Public Library.)

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”

Marcus Tullius Cicero, 106-43 B.C.E., Roman philosopher and orator.

“In my fool-hardy youth, when my friends were dreaming of heroic deeds in the realms of engineering and law, finance and national politics, I dreamt of becoming a librarian.”

Alberto Manguel, The Library at Night. Argentine writer, born 1948.

“A library is an ever-growing entity; it multiplies seemingly unaided, it reproduces itself by purchase, theft, borrowings, gifts, by suggesting gaps through association, by demanding completion of sorts.”

Alberto Manguel, The Library at Night. Argentine writer, born 1948.

Be sure to check out all of our National Poetry Month programs at all three McAllen Public Library branches!

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