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poetry circle

One Page Poetry Circle Archive


Welcome to the One Page Poetry Circle at St. Agnes Branch Library!

Date: Tuesday, April 18
Time: 5:30 - 6:30 pm
Place: St. Agnes Branch Library, 444 Amsterdam Avenue (near 81st Street), 3rd Floor
Theme: Poetry and Silence (pdf)

Find a poem! Show up! Read a poem! Discuss a poem!

We're back for the ninth season of the One Page Poetry Circle where people gather to examine the works of established poets. While there's no instructor and this is not a workshop for personal writing, once a month OPPC gives everyone a place to become teachers and learners to explore the form, content, language and meaning of poetry. Since the circle started, participants have selected and discussed 971 poems and have read countless others in pursuit of poetry that speaks to them.

April's theme is Poetry and Silence. Feel free to interpret the theme in a way that has meaning for you. We hope you will find a poem you haven't read before or see an old friend in a new light. Can't locate a poem you want to bring? Look through a poetry book at the library or check out Poetry Foundation or poets.org.

Silence would seem inimical to poetry, but it is as important as words. Poems use silence, the cessation of words, to create meaning. "Silence" is the last word that Hamlet speaks (Shakespeare's Hamlet 5.2). The moment contains irony in that the last thing Hamlet says means "nothing" but follows much mental and physical turmoil. Sadly, his voice will be silenced forever-or at least until we read the play again.

  • The potent poison quite o’ercrows my spirit.
  • I cannot live to hear the news from England.
  • But I do prophesy the election lights
  • On Fortinbras. He has my dying voice.
  • So tell him, with th’ occurrents, more and less,
  • Which have solicited. The rest is silence.

In Yvor Winters' "Before Disaster," the rhyming couplets tick-tock, lull, increase speed, and then halt, creating a silence where readers can reflect before moving on.

  • Evening traffic homeward burns,
  • Swift and even on the turns,
  • Drifting weight in triple rows,
  • Fixed relation and repose.
  • This one edges out and by,
  • Inch by inch with steady eye.
  • But should error be increased,
  • Mass and moment are released;
  • Matter loosens, flooding blind,
  • Levels driver to its kind….
  • Ranks of nations thus descend,
  • Watchful to a story end.
  • By a moment’s calm beguiled,
  • I have got a wife and child.

Simon and Garfunkel's song, "The Sound of Silence," begins by evoking a mood:

  • Hello darkness, my old friend
  • I've come to talk with you again
  • Because a vision softly creeping
  • Left its seeds while I was sleeping
  • And the vision that was planted in my brain
  • Still remains
  • Within the sound of silence

We look forward to seeing the works you select for Poetry and Silence and to discussing them with you on April 18the. Bring a poem of a known poet. Bring a friend. Show up! And widen the circle! Without your support the library may find other uses for the spacious room they've given us.

Please blog with us at onepagepoetrycircle.wordpress.com.

Spring 2017 Schedule:
April 18, Poetry and Silence
May 9, Poetry and Theft

Abigail Burnham Bloom and
AnnaLee Wilson

The One Page Poetry Circle is sponsored by the New York Public Library and is open to all. St. Agnes Branch Library is handicap accessible.


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