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poetry circle

One Page Poetry Circle Archive


February, 2013.

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

Date: Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Time: 5:30 - 6:30 pm
Place: St. Agnes Branch Library, 444 Amsterdam Avenue (near 81st Street), 3rd Floor
Theme: Poetry and Our Parents (pdf)

Please join us for an hour of authentic conversation about poetry through the examination of works of established poets. While there is 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.

We will meet on February 5th to discuss Poetry and Our Parents. The first poem I ever heard was a Mother Goose rhyme which my mother had learned from her mother. We would like to hear about poems you associate with your parents.

AnnaLee's father, a public school teacher, taught her safety rhymes and songs when she began to walk to school with a friend. Her favorite was Let the Ball Roll (1937), written by Irving Caesar, who wrote the lyrics for Tea for Two. The poem reminded children not to run into the street after a ball:

  • Sometimes you catch it,
  • And sometimes you miss,
  • But when you miss, remember this:
  • Let the ball roll,
  • Let the ball roll,
  • No matter where it may go.
  • Let the ball roll,
  • Let the ball roll.
  • It has to stop sometime you know.

People often read poems at memorial services because of the universality of the experiences recounted in poetry. At a celebration of my mother's life, my husband read a version of "Lucinda Matlock" from Edgar Lee Master's Spoon River Anthology (1915) (Lucinda raised twelve children and lost eight):

  • We were married and lived together for seventy years,
  • Enjoying, working, raising the six children,
  • Two of whom we lost
  • Ere I had reached the age of sixty.

A famous stanza from Philip Larkin's "This Be the Verse" (1974) takes a less reverent approach:

  • They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
  • They may not mean to, but they do.
  • They fill you with the faults they had
  • And add some extra, just for you.

We invite you to bring a single page of poetry by a known author related to the subject of Poetry and Our Parents - with copies for others, if you can. To get started on your search, try poetryfoundation.org or poets.org. Or bring a poem you associate with your parents for any reason at all!

Mark your calendars for Spring 2013:

February 5. Poetry and Our Parents
March 12. Poetry and Seduction
April 9. Poetry and the Grave
May 14. Poetry and Circles

Bring a friend - all are welcome!

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 handicapped accessible.


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