James H. Thomason Library

Locating a Poem

When fame comes knocking
At your door
You’ve got to do Fame
And something more…

It’s good to have money
It’s good to have friends
But when you add Fame
Then the trouble begins…

When you open that package
Of fortune and Fame
Keep your sanity
Keep your good name...

As Fame comes walking
Through that door
Sure—do the Fame
But have something more

                                    Nikki Giovanni

Excerpts of Fame from

William Morrow Publishers, p.79-80, 2009.

~ copy available in PC collection ~

  Poetry Indexes
Information on a Poem/Poet
    Print Encyclopedias & Dictionaries
  Specific Poets
    Citation Style
Locating Books
    PASCAL Catalog
Locating Articles and Criticism
  Article Databases
  Book Reviews
    Journal Finder
    Poetry Journals
Internet Resources

Get Help          

  denotes recommended resource

denotes library subscription

Locating a Poem  
Poetry Indexes   back to top

LitFinder [Thomson Gale]


A great resource for finding full-text poems, poem citations and excerpts, short stories, speeches, essays, and full-text plays. Also includes biographies, work summaries, photographs, and a glossary. Search by word, poet, title, and limit by century, type of work, type of source, and more!

THOMCAT [Thomason Library Catalog]

Information on how to find a book of poetry in the PC Library is available below. An added bonus in THOMCAT is a "pass-through" to the PASCAL Catalog for additional items at other academic libraries in S.C. that meet your search criteria.

PASCAL Catalog [S.C. Virtual Academic Library]

Search this catalog in a similar manner to searching THOMCAT. Information on how to borrow a book of poetry from another S.C. academic library through PASCAL Delivers is available below.

The Columbia Granger's Index to African-American Poetry, Columbia University Press, c1999.

Main Level, Reference: R 811.008 C723C


The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry, Columbia University Press, 1990-.

Main Level, Reference: R 808.81 G765I  


The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry in Anthologies, Columbia University Press, 2007.

Main Level, Reference: R 808.81 G765I 2006


Index to Poetry for Children and Young People 1964-1992 , Wilson, 1972- .
Main Level, Reference: R 821.0016 B758I [5 suppl]


Last Lines: An Index to the Last Lines of Poetry, Facts on File, 1991.
Main Level, Reference: R 016.80881 K685L [2 vols]

The Poetry Foundation [poetryfoundation.org]

Find poetry by category, poet, title, first line, most popular.

Search for a Poem [poets.org]

Search by title, first line, author's last name, or browse categories and popular poems on this page.

Verse [Bartleby.com]

Search poetry anthologies by keyword, by indexes to poems (Chronologic, Author, Title, First Line), or go directly to collections. Anthologies include Oxford Book of English Verse, Yale Book of American Verse, Modern American Poetry, Modern British Poetry, Lyrics and Poems of the 17th Century, and Golden Treasury. Other volumes include: The Odysseys of Homer, Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson, Poems by T.S. Eliot, The Oxford Shakespeare (includes the complete works of William Shakespeare), and more.


Information on a Poem or Poet    

PRINT Encyclopedias

back to top

Click on call # links below for print item descriptions in THOMCAT.

Critical Survey of Poetry, 2nd revised ed., Salem Press, 2002.

Main Level, Reference: R 809.1 C869C [8 vols]

Presents the poets most often addressed in North American high school and university curricula, as well as presenting new voices with a global and multiethnic nature. Poet essays are found in volumes 1-7. Volume 8 has overview essays including "Criticism & Theory," "Poetry Around the World," and "Research Tools," all with substantial bibliographies.

A Dictionary of Literary Symbols, Cambridge University Press, 2000.

Main Level, Reference: R 809.915 F373D

Entries clearly explain and illustrate the literary symbols that we encounter (swan, rose, moon, gold), along with hundreds of cross-references and quotations. The dictionary concentrates on English literature, but its entries range widely from the Bible and classical authors to the twentieth century, taking in American and European literatures.

Also available in online edition from CREDO Reference: Dictionary of Literary Symbols


The Longman Dictionary of Poetic Terms, Longman, 1989.
Main Level, Reference: R 808.103 M992L

Defines a critical vocabulary for the poet and the student of poetry.

The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, Princeton University Press, 1993.

Main Level, Reference: R 808.103 N42N 

"A book of knowledge, facts, theories, questions and informed judgment about poetry...providing comprehensive, comparative, advanced, yet readable reference [information] for all interested in the history of any poetry in any national literature of the world. Includes surveys of 106 national poetries, descriptions of poetic forms and genres, explanations of the devices of prosody and rhetoric, and overviews of all major schools of poetry, ancient and modern." description from book Preface

New Rhyming Dictionary and Poets' Handbook, Harper & Row Publishers, 1957,

Main Level, Reference: R 808.1 J63N

Handbook covers forms of English verse encompassing rhythm, feet, meter, stanzas, lyric forms of verse along with the Dictionary [thesaurus format] of terms that rhyme.

The Victorian Poets: Bio-critical Introductions to the Victorian Poets, Garland, 1986.

Main Level, Reference: R 821.809 P752P [3 vols]

Taken from A.H. Miles's The Poets and the Poetry of the Nineteenth Century. Includes entries on several hundred poets of the period from Matthew Arnold to the Brownings, to William Morris, to Tennyson, Wilde, Yeats, and many more.

E-books back to top

Search e-books using keywords related to your subject.

Contemporary Poets [GVRL], St. James Press, 2001.

Provide biographical and bibliographic information, as well as brief critical essays, on some of the world's most important English-language poets. In print since 1970, this 7th edition includes a personal statement from each of the 787 poets who were living when this revision was undertaken.

Dictionary of Literary Symbols [CREDO Reference], Cambridge University Press, 2003.

Entries clearly explain and illustrate the literary symbols that we encounter (swan, rose, moon, gold), along with hundreds of cross-references and quotations. The dictionary concentrates on English literature, but its entries range widely from the Bible and classical authors to the twentieth century, taking in American and European literatures.

Gale Contextual Encyclopedia of World Literature [GVRL], Gale, 2009.

Covers world authors from many periods and genres, building an understanding of the various contexts -- from the biographical to the literary to the historical -- in which literature can be viewed. Identifies the significant literary devices and global themes that define a writer's style and place the author in a larger literary tradition as chronicled and evaluated by critics over time.

The Encyclopedia of American Poetry [CREDO REference], Fitzroy Dearborn/Routledge, 2001.

Contains a broad range of individual poets and poems, along with many articles devoted to topics, schools, or periods of American verse in the 20th century.


The Encyclopedia of the Romantic Era, 1760-1850 [CREDO Reference, Taylor & Francis Group, c2004.

Explores the developments that influenced the profound changes in thought and sensibility during the second half of the eighteenth century and the first half of the nineteenth century. The Encyclopedia provides readers with a clear, detailed, and accurate reference source on the literature, thought, music, and art of the period, demonstrating the rich interplay of international influences and cross-currents at work; and to explore the many issues raised by the very concepts of Romantic and Romanticism.

The Oxford Companion to Twentieth Century Poetry [Oxford Reference Online], Oxford University Press, 2003.

Also available in print, Main Level, Reference:

R 821.910903 Ox2O 1994 ed.

Cambridge Guide to Children's Books in English [CREDO Reference], Cambridge University Press, 2001.


Biography   back to top


Literature Resource Center

Search for info about a poet.

Search for a Poet - Poets.org
Biographies of more than 500 poets at this site. Browse top 20 contemporary poets, historical poets, or the alphabetical list available on this page.

British romantic poets, 1789-1832, First Series, Gale Research, 1990.
Main Level, Reference: R 809 D561D v. 93


British romantic poets, 1789-1832, Second Series, Gale Research, 1990.

Main Level, Reference: R 809 D561D v. 96 

Critical Survey of Poetry, 2nd revised ed., Salem Press, 2002.

Main Level, Reference: R 809.1 C869C [8 vols]

Includes biographical information in Poet Essays in vols 1-7.

The Encyclopedia of the Romantic Era, 1760-1850 [CREDO Reference] Taylor & Francis Group, c2004.

THOMCAT [find Biography books on poets in the Library]

Try a broad subject search in THOMCAT like this one, Poets, American-20th Century-Biography, or a more specific one like this one, Sandburg, Carl, 1878-1967 - Biography. You should type last name, then first when searching for a person as subject or author. For more information on searching the library catalog see below.


An additional option for finding print biographies of well known poets is to browse the Biography shelves located on the Upper Level right after the 900s.

Bios are arranged alphabetically by author last name and are labelled with a "B" followed by the author classification [example: B / W8914 for William Wordsworth].


Specific Poets: Reference Books, Web   back to top

A Blake Dictionary: The Ideas and Symbols of William Blake, Brown University Press, 1973.

Main Level, Reference: R 821.7 D187B

William Blake Archive [Library of Congress]

A Chaucer Glossary, Oxford University Press, 1979.

Main Level, Reference: R 821.1 C393C

A Concordance to the Complete Works of Geoffrey Chaucer and to the Romaunt of the Rose, P. Smith, 1963.

Main Level, Reference: R 821.17 T188C

Geoffrey Chaucer Database [English Dept, Harvard University]

A Dante Encyclopedia, Garland Pub., 2000.

Main Level, Reference: R 851.1 D235D

A Concordance to the Poems of John Keats, Garland, 1981.
Main Level, Reference: R 821.7 B388C

An Electronic Concordance to the Poems of John Keats [Romantic Circles, Univ. of Maryland]

A Concordance to the Poems of W. B. Yeats, Cornell University Press [1963].
Main Level, Reference: R 821.912 P249C

A Concordance to the Complete Poems and Plays of T. S. Eliot, Faber and Faber, 1995.

Main Level, Reference: R 821.912 D325C

A Concordance to Milton's English Poetry, Clarendon Press, 1972.

Main Level, Reference: R 821.4 In4C

A Milton Dictionary, Philosophical Library [1961] .
Main Level, Reference: R 821.4 L496M

A Pope Chronology, G.K. Hall, 1988.

Main Level, Reference: R 821.509 B459P



Citation Style back to top

Humanities: Documenting Sources [Research and Documentation Online], Bedford/St. Martins, 2003.

Online MLA style manual with guidelines and examples.

MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th edition, Modern Language Association, 2009.
Main Level, Ready Reference Shelf: R 808.027 M72M

Writing Center, Presbyterian College
Citation styles, writing guides, and scheduling an appointment with a tutor.

Locating Books back to top
THOMCAT back to top

Use the online catalog to locate books in Thomason Library. You can search by author, title, keyword, or subject.

  • Search for a person, as AUTHOR or SUBJECT, with last name, then first name:              
  Collins, Billy [as AUTHOR] items by him
Whitman, Walt [as SUBJECT] items about him & his work

  • SUBJECT searching requires use of Library of Congress subject headings. The terms below are examples of subject headings related to the Poetry:

THOMCAT Materials by Subject:

  Poetry & also 32 related subjects for types of poetry  
American Poetry, 21st Century
American Poetry, 20th Century  
American Poetry, 20th Century History & Criticism      *87
English Poetry  
English Poetry, 19th Century History And Criticism        *72
English Poetry, Early Modern 1500-1700  
Epic poetry  
Poets American, 20th Century Biography  
Women Poets  
Women Poets, American 20th Century Biography       *3

Follow the "PASCAL icon links" in THOMCAT to "pass-through" to the PASCAL Catalog

PASCAL Books available by Subject:
  American Poetry 21st Century
American Poetry 20th Century History And Criticism *1382
English Poetry, 19th Century History And Criticism    *993
Epic Poetry  
Free Verse  
Women Poets, American 20th Century Biography     *49



An additional option for finding books of poetry at PC is to

browse these call number areas on the Upper Level :






American Poetry in English

American Poetry 1900-1945

American Poetry 1945-1999

English [British] Poetry



Subject searching is an effective and precise method of searching the catalog, however, KEYWORD searching has benefits, also.

  • Try a KEYWORD search if you are unsure of the exact title or the correct subject heading to use. Search using two or three of the most significant words from the title or subject you are trying to find. Place phrases in "quotation marks."

  • Connect words with AND, OR, NOT to focus your search.

  • Try truncation at the end of a word stem to retrieve singular, plural, and other variations of the word.  Use an asterisk (*) to truncate from 1 to 5 characters. Use a double asterisk (**) to include word endings with an unlimited number of characters.
KEYWORD Searching Tips

· Use AND between words to narrow your search:
Edgar Allen Poe
AND alliteration

· Add * to the root of a word to truncate

or expand a term:
alliterat* = alliteration, alliterative verse

· Use OR between words with similar meanings
to expand your search and
group those words with parentheses:
Giovanni AND (rhyme OR cadence OR pattern)

· Use "quotation marks" around a phrase
"contemporary poetry"

Try KEYWORD searching with THOMCAT, other library catalogs & library databases.

PASCAL Catalog   back to top

When you need books in addition to those found at Thomason Library, try your search in the PASCAL Catalog for books on your topic at other academic libraries in S.C. Through PASCAL Delivers you can order books online for delivery within 3-4 working days. This service for current PC students, faculty, and staff is a project of PASCAL - Partnership Among SC Academic Libraries. Borrowers will be notified by e-mail when requested items arrive at Thomason Library. Click here for searching and ordering tips.

WorldCat   back to top

A catalog of books and materials at libraries worldwide. Try searching here to find ALL books available on a topic. Materials available at Thomason Library are highlighted and others can be borrowed through ILL or searched in PASCALCAT.


Interlibrary Loan for books not available through PASCAL and articles that are not part of PC's electronic full-text or print journal collections.

ILL is available to PC students, faculty and staff in order to share resources between libraries. Follow link for instructions.

Locating Articles back to top
Article Databases back to top

Academic Search Premier  [EBSCOhost]Pascal Logo

Search for journal and magazine articles in ALL academic disciplines.

Academic Search Premier - Humanities [EBSCOhost]
Search this subset of full-text peer-reviewed humanities journals (language, literature, history) indexed in Academic Search Premier.

Gale Biography in Context  [Thomson Gale]

Search for a person by name or search for people who fit a profile based on personal facts such as birth and death year, nationality, ethnicity, occupation or gender, or combine criteria to create a highly-targeted custom search. Includes biography and full-text articles from hundreds of periodicals.

An archive of over 350 full-text journals which can be searched at this site. Other PC databases link to JSTOR articles through Journal Finder, which guides the user to full-text articles. As an archive, JSTOR does not provide the most current three to five year issues of the journals as specified by the publishers in their agreements with JSTOR.

Literature Resources from GALE

Search all GALE literature resources at once* to find articles, criticism, biographies, work and topic overviews, reviews, and the full-text of many literary works [*LitFinder, Literature Resource Center, Scribner Writers Series, Twayne's Authors Series].

MLA International Bibliography  [EBSCOhost]
Use for literature and language topics. Indexes critical literary and language scholarship and provides access to journals and serials published worldwide, as well as books, essay collections, working papers, proceedings, dissertations, and bibliographies. Nearly 45,000 records are added annually.

Project MUSE Basic Undergraduate Collection  
Current and recent volumes of 112 core journals in the humanities and social sciences.

Book Reviews   back to top


Book Review Index PLUS [GALE]

Search for specific title, author, or use the advanced search and keywords to find review articles on items dealing with poetry and nature, for example.

New York Times Book Review

Browse our holdings through this Journal Finder link or "search within this publication" in Infotrac Academic OneFile for specific reviews.


Journal Finder back to top

Journal Finder provides access to PC's electronic and print journals,

magazines, and newspapers in one convenient location.

Your search results in PC article databases contain many direct links to article full-text.

If no direct links are shown, follow the
"Check Journal Finder"
link to see if full-text is available by following the steps below.


Example of an article citation:

Hyde, Lewis, "Liberty to communicate,"

Kenyon Review  32.3 [volume & issue]
(Summer 2010): p 1-24.

If you already have a citation and are trying to find an article, follow these steps to determine whether full text is available for the article you need:

  1. Note the date of the journal issue you need before following the Journal Finder link.
  2. Type the title of the journal or magazine in the "Browse Journals by Title" box. (example: Kenyon Review )
  3. If more than one title is shown, click on the title you need.
  4. Note the "dates available" for that journal. If "Full Text Online" is not available, look under "Full Text in your Library" -we may have what you need in print.
  5. Click on a database that covers the date you need.
  6. Choose the year and issue OR volume and issue you need, then look through contents of that issue for the article you need. Articles are usually listed in page number order.
  7. Full text articles are usually in HTML or PDF format. Click on a link to view the article. If you have questions, please contact a Reference Librarian.


Poetry Journals back to top

Search by journal title in Journal Finder to determine online and print availability at PC and database "source" indexing the journal. Journals can be browsed by issue or searched through the source(s) listed.

American Poetry Review

Modern Poetry in Translation


Poetry Nation

Prairie Schooner

Victorian Poetry


Internet Resources back to top

Academy of American Poets - Poets & Poetry

Find a poet from biographies of 540 poets. Browse over 1800 poems by keyword, title, or first line. Listen to 150 audio clips of poems read by authors.


American Verse Project [University of Michigan Humanities Text Initiative]

A searchable electronic archive of volumes of American poetry prior to 1920.

Contemporary American Poetry Archive

An Internet Archive for Out-of-Print Books. Site contains out-of-print books of poems by individual poets. Books are stored as individual text-only files accessible on the Internet. You may read poems online, search electronically, and download freely. Please note: Author retains copyright and must be compensated if multiple copies are made.

Internet Poetry Archive

Displays work of living poets from around the world. Poets featured include Philip Levine, Nobel Prize winners Seamus Heaney and Czeslaw Milosz. Includes sound, graphics, texts of the poems, biography of the poet, plus the poet's own audio clips, photograph of the poet, and others graphics where applicable. Poems presented in their original languages.


Librarian’s Internet Index – Poetry

Over 200 sites dealing with poetry that were selected by librarians.

Recently added! Naropa Poetics Audio Archive [Internet Archive]

Naropa University Archive Project is preserving and providing access to over 5000 hours of recordings made at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. The library was developed under the auspices of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics (the university's Department of Writing and Poetics) founded in 1974 by poets Anne Waldman and Allen Ginsberg. It contains readings, lectures, performances, seminars, panels and workshops conducted at Naropa by many of the leading figures of the U.S.literary avant-garde. description from site 9/2011

Off the Page [English Department, University of Southampton, British Arts Council]

"Free access to recordings representative of British poetic output of the last 40 years. Multiple browse features allow users to search by poet, date, location, or event. Researchers can also browse content by means of a conventional and well-documented search feature that provides useful tips on how best to retrieve relevant information. In addition to its graceful design and utility, the sheer range of poets included is perhaps the most impressive aspect of this resource." CHOICE Reviews Online 7/2010 [currently not working 9/2011, will re-check]

Poetry Archive

Online collection of recordings of poets reading their work. Listen to voices of contemporary English-language poets and of poets from the past. Browse all poets by last name. Browse all poems by title, by theme or by form.


Representative Poetry Online

See intro for description. Based on a textbook with new additions. Most in public realm.


Verse [@ Bartleby.com]

Search poetry anthologies by keyword, by indexes to poems (Chronologic, Author, Title, First Line), or go directly to collections. Anthologies include Oxford Book of English Verse, Yale Book of American Verse, Modern American Poetry, Modern British Poetry, Lyrics and Poems of the 17th Century, and Golden Treasury. Other volumes include: The Odysseys of Homer, Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson, Poems by T.S. Eliot, The Oxford Shakespeare (includes the complete works of William Shakespeare), and more.

Poetry Everywhere [WGBH]

Video recordings of poems being read by their authors.


The Poetry Foundation

Find poetry by category, poet, title, first line, most popular.  Podcasts, video, and blog from one of the largest literary foundations in the world, the publisher of Poetry magazine.



Get Help back to top
Stop by the
Reference Desk

Teresa Inman 833-8313
Dan Lee 833-8437


Hours: 8.30 am - 10 pm for research questions & assistance. Personal appointments also available.

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