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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, February 20
Time: 5:30 - 6:30 pm
Place: St. Agnes Branch Library, 444 Amsterdam Avenue (near 81st Street), 3rd Floor
Theme: Poetry and Lies (pdf)

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

We're back for the 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 1034 poems and have read countless others in pursuit of poetry that speaks to them.

Everyone lies. We do it to protect ourselves or to be kind to our friends, saying, "I'm busy next Saturday" or "You look terrific!" And what one calls a truism, can be shown by another to be false. Horace wrote, "Dulce et deorum est pro patria mori" [It is sweet and proper to die for one's country], but Wilfred Owen, after witnessing a gas attack in The Great War, referred to the phrase as "the old Lie." Plato called all poets liars as they are mired in illusion and create fiction.

Around 1592, Sir Walter Raleigh published a poem called "The Lie." The poet publically accuses the social elite and their organizations of lying or "giving them the lie." But the authorship of this influential poem is not assured, so attributing it to Raleigh may be untrue.

  • Tell potentates, they live
  • Acting by others’ action;
  • Not loved unless they give,
  • Not strong but by a faction.
  • If potentates reply,
  • Give potentates the lie.
  • Tell zeal it wants devotion;
  • Tell love it is but lust;
  • Tell time it is but motion;
  • Tell flesh it is but dust.
  • And wish them not reply,
  • For thou must give the lie.

Dorothy Parker's "Unfortunate Coincidence" concerns love and lying:

  • By the time you swear you’re his,
  • Shivering and sighing,
  • And he vows his passion is
  • Infinite, undying—
  • Lady, make a note of this:
  • One of you is lying.

We take a broad approach to our themes. Whether a poem is literally about lies, uses "lie" in its title, or even has a remote connection to the idea of lying, deception or untruth, feel free to bring a poem that has meaning for you. 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.

Please blog with us at onepagepoetrycircle.wordpress.com.

Spring 2018 Schedule
February 20: Poetry and Lies
March 6: Poetry and Enjambment
April 17: Poetry and Timing
May 8: Poetry and Choices

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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