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Poetry

Build the Open Shelves Classification

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1laena
Feb 23, 2009, 11:51am Top

Includes collections of poems, as well as individual poems and epics.

2Alixtii
Edited: Feb 26, 2009, 5:43am Top

Okay so maybe:

x. Epics (Beowulf or Gilgamesh)
x. Non-Epic Long Poems (???) (The Waste Land or Tender Buttons published by themselves)
x. Drama in Poetry (Antigone or Hamlet or Murder in the Cathedral)
x. Collections of Short Poems (Inventions of the March Hare orThe Home Book of Verse for Young Folks)

How do you we divide each of these up futher, though? Geographical origin makes the most sense to me for epics and drama, and we should probably treat long poems the same way we do epics and drama.

Collections of poetry (which represent the majority of what we need to categorize) are going to be a pain to categorize no matter what we do.

Maybe:

x. Collections of Short Poetry
x. Collections Based on Language
x. English
x. French, etc.
x. Collections Based on Type of Poem
x. Sestinas
x. Sonnets, etc.
x. Collections Based on Poetic Style
x. Metaphysical Poetry
x. Romantic Poetry
x. Modernist Poetry, etc.

3klarusu
Feb 26, 2009, 5:40am Top

Sorry Alixtii, that doesn't make sense to me as a second-level division as it's purely based on format not content exactly. I wouldn't automatically go to a poetry section and look for epics vs non-epic long poems vs short poems. I would go and look for poetry of a particular time period, geographical/linguistic origin, subject, expected readership (e.g. children's). I wouldn't think "I'm after Beowulf, where's the epics section" but I would think about where the Anglo-Saxon poetry is, the African poetry, the WW2 poets etc. I wouldn't expect to find The Wasteland in a separate place to Eliot's shorter work. I'm not just chipping in to criticise and running, I just haven't got time to flesh out categories this morning but I'll come back with a contrary suggestion later ;))

4abbottthomas
Feb 26, 2009, 7:15am Top

This is what I do with mine - for discussion rather than a suggestion.

Single author works are shelved A-Z by surname regardless of content, style or period.

Anthologies are in various groups:
>large general e.g. The New Oxford Book of English Verse
>period-specific anthologies e.g. Poetry of the Nineties
>nation-specific anthologies e.g. Japanese Death Poems
>content-specific anthologies - for me those are: humour, war, love, medicine and children's.

Finally books about reading, writing and understanding poetry.

5klarusu
Feb 26, 2009, 9:22am Top

As do I abbottthomas. I think the option to do that is there for libraries who chose not to devolve down from the top-level Poetry classification (with the exception of anthologies). I think there certainly has to be a second-level 'Anthologies' category.

6comfypants
Feb 26, 2009, 1:15pm Top

#3 - I agree that format doesn't make sense as a second-level division... with the exception of epics. They strike me as a fundamentally different type of book from other poetry, so much so that it seems necessary to point out their inclusion in the scope notes.

7Alixtii
Mar 2, 2009, 6:04pm Top

I agree that epics really should be separated out; I'd be more interested in seeing Beowulf next to Gilgamesh than a collection of T.S. Eliot's short poetry, even if technically they are both English poetry. I think a strong case can be made for separating out drama, too, even if that would mean that Murder in the Cathedral and The Wasteland wouldn't end up on the same shelf.

Which would give us as second-level categories:

x. Epics
{x. Drama}
x. Single-Author Collections and Long Poems
x. Collections of Multiple Authors

There's something ugly about this IMHO, but if people want it I can live with it. The next question would be how to divide up the last two groups. Assuming we aren't going to have A, B, C, . . . , X, Y, Z as tertiary categories the way abbottthomas does, we'd have to divide them by geography and/or era. Dividing them by school--Romantics, Metaphysical Poets, etc.--while attractive would, I think, be ultimately untenable; it's just not objective enough. For the tertiary categories under the "Collections of Multiple Authors" second-level category, I think abbottthomas probably has a decent list.

x. Large General
x. Period-Specific
x. Geography-Specific
x. Theme-Specific

Presumably school-specific collections would fall under "Period-specific," so that a collection of Modernist poetry would go under "Early 20th Century" or some such.

8conners
Mar 20, 2009, 10:50am Top

Please check out this thread (http://www.librarything.com/topic/60594) for a link to the new OSC blog and a call for specific volunteer involvement. Thanks!

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