Mr. Lythgoe, who has served as president of the Academy for Lifelong Learning at the University of South Carolina Aiken and has published two books of poetry, Brass and Holy Week , read verses by current poet laureate Charles Simic and Ted Kooser, who was poet laureate from 2004 to 2006.
Mr. Simic "writes poetry from memory and history," Mr. Lythgoe said.
A native of Yugoslavia, Mr. Simic went through World War II there and moved to the United States at the age of 15. He's a retired professor from the University of New Hampshire.
"He's a skeptic, a doubter, an agnostic," Mr. Lythgoe said. "In his poems, the wolf will eat the grandma."
Mr. Kooser has a very different style.
"He's from the Great Plains, a down-home good guy. He's not an academic," Mr. Lythgoe said.
In fact, Mr. Kooser sold insurance for a living.
Mr. Lythgoe read some of Mr. Kooser's Valentine poems, including Pocket Poem and Tracks .
Before reading Pocket Poem , Mr. Lythgoe passed on a suggestion from the organizers of the month. "They are encouraging people to keep a poem in their pocket," he said.
Mr. Lythgoe's two books of poetry are available at The Book Stall in Aiken.
Reach Charmain Z. Brackett at firstname.lastname@example.org.