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Friday, April 17, 2015

Benjamin Franklin and poetry and libraries and kites with keys

On this day in 1790, Benjamin Franklin passed away in his home in Philadelphia, PA at the age of 84. Franklin was well know for things like Poor Richard's Almanac, the invention of bifocal glasses, aiding in the drafting of the Declaration of Independence, and a little experiment involving a kite, a key, and a bolt of lightning. But did you know he also helped establish the first circulating library in Philadelphia?

Franklin, along with other members of the philosophical association Junto, drew up articles of agreement to form the library on July 1, 1731. The library submitted its first order for books the following year and the rest is history. The Library Company is still open today. Read more about its history here. As it's National Library Week, we were thrilled to share this tidbit of information with you!

As a lover of books, it seems only natural that Franklin was a writerly sort, but did you know he also dabbled in poetry? National Library Week is almost over, but National Poetry Month is still going strong. Celebrate by reading some of Franklin's poetry! Read his poem "Death Is a Fisherman" below and check out some of his other poems here.

Death Is A Fisherman
Death is a fisherman, the world we see
His fish-pond is, and we the fishes be;
His net some general sickness; howe'er he
Is not so kind as other fishers be;
For if they take one of the smaller fry,
They throw him in again, he shall not die:
But death is sure to kill all he can get,
And all is fish with him that comes to net.
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