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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 2
Time: 5:30 - 6:30 pm
Place: St. Agnes Branch Library, 444 Amsterdam Avenue (near 81st Street), 3rd Floor
Theme: Poetry and Mystery (pdf)

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

We're back for the eleventh spring 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 began, participants have selected and discussed 1031 poems and have read countless others in pursuit of poetry that speaks to them.

Our program for April will explore Poetry and Mystery. In the New York Times Opinion Pages, the poet David Biespiel wrote, "Poetic utterance shapes our perspective of the mysteries of the present moment and helps us imagine the next one." Indeed, every poem is a mystery to be solved, its meaning to be unlocked and revealed.

Some poems are designed as puzzles. Riddles were popular since the earliest English poetry, like this translation from the Anglo-Saxon:

  • A moth ate words. It seemed to me
  • a strange occasion, when I inquired about that wonder,
  • that the worm swallowed the riddle of certain men,
  • a thief in the darkness, the glorious pronouncement
  • and its strong foundation. The stealing guest was not
  • one whit the wiser, for all those words he swallowed.

The answer is a bookworm, both an actual worm and a person who reads without understanding.

Mark Strand takes on what cannot be known in his prose poem "Mystery and Solitude in Topeka":

  • Afternoon darkens into evening. A man falls deeper and deeper into the slow spiral of sleep, into the drift of it, the length of it, through what feels like mist, and comes at last to an open door through which he passes without knowing why, then again without knowing why goes to a room where he sits and waits while the room seems to close around him and the dark is darker than any he has known, and he feels something forming within him without being sure what it is, its hold on him growing, as if a story were about to unfold, in which two characters, Pleasure and Pain, commit the same crime, the one that is his, that he will confess to again and again, until it means nothing.

We're looking forward to seeing you at the April 2nd One Page Poetry Circle. Whether a poem concerns a mystery, solves a mystery, or is a mystery, choose a poem that has meaning to you. And if you can, come with copies for others to share. Can't locate a poem you want to bring? Browse the poetry section at the library or check out Poetry Foundation or poets.org.

In the meantime, please blog with us at onepagepoetrycircle.wordpress.com.

Spring 2019 Season
Tuesday, April 2, Poetry and Mystery
Tuesday, May 7, Poetry and Longing

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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