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How to Locate Poems

Poems are typically not published separately, so you must identify an anthology or a collection (book) which contains the poem you seek. A poem may be searched by its author (poet) or its title. Depending on the tool you use, you can also search by a poem’s first line, by a keyword search on words in the poem or by subject.

There are several search strategies to use in locating individual poems. If you are interested in seeing if the text of a specific poem is available on the World Wide Web, consider beginning with the high quality sites selected by the APSU Librarians. You can access such a web site by searching Austin Type in ‘poetry internet resources’ as a SUBJECT search. When you identify a poetry web site in Felix, you can go directly to the site by clicking on the address link found in the Austin record. Once you are at the site, search for your poem.

Consider searching your poem in the Austin via ANYWHERE KEYWORD.  For example, if you want to find a book which contains the poem "Wild Nights" by Emily Dickinson, search the poem's title in the Anywhere Keyword search box.

Another way to identify a book containing a specific poem found in the APSU Library is to search Austin  by AUTHOR. For example, if you want to find the text of a poem by Emily Dickinson, search ‘Dickinson, Emily’ as an author. Then, scan the retrieved list of titles for books which appear to include poems. Once you find one book and its call number, you can browse the shelves in that location to see if the Library has other books by that poet.

To identify anthologies or collections which contain your poem, use both Granger’s Index to Poetry in Collected and Selected Works located at Ref Stacks, Level 2 (Ref PN 1022 .C62 1996), and Granger’s Index to Poetry in Anthologies located at Ref Stacks, Level 2 (Ref PN 1022 .H39 1997). These two volumes index 100,000+ poems by over 10,000 poets found in 600+ anthologies/collections. The ‘How to Use the Indexes’ section found in the front of each volume provides detailed information about using Granger’s.

Each volume of Granger’s Index includes an author index, a title/first line index and a subject index. An acronym, which represents a book, is located beside each listed poem. Look up the acronym in the front of the Granger’s volume and you will find the full title, editor, publisher and date information for the anthology or collection which contains your poem. For example, the acronym ‘OBEV’ stands for The Oxford Book of English Verse. Finally, look up the book title in Felix to see if the APSU Library has the anthology or collection book.

For additional help or information, ask at the APSU Library Information Desk, or use Ask A Librarian above.

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