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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 12
Time: 5:30 - 6:30 pm
Place: St. Agnes Branch Library, 444 Amsterdam Ave. (near 81st Street), 3rd Floor
Theme: Poetry and You (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 1025 poems and have read countless others in pursuit of poetry that speaks to them.

You is the theme for February's circle. You may decide to bring a poem about something important to you, a poem itself that's dear to you, or a poem that mentions "you." Or simply bring a poem you enjoy.

The poet is always reaching out from himself to his audience, "you." Abigail is reminded by this topic of a poem by John Keats, whose last word in the poem is "you." Throughout his short career Keats faced his own mortality and reached his hand out to his love, Fanny Brawne. The poem shows both the need for connection to another person and almost a grizzly sense of self. Found among his papers after his death, and titled "This Living Hand" for its first three words, this is the poem in its entirety:

  • This living hand, now warm and capable
  • Of earnest grasping, would, if it were cold
  • And in the icy silence of the tomb,
  • So haunt thy days and chill thy dreaming nights
  • That thou would wish thine own heart dry of blood
  • So in my veins red life might stream again,
  • And thou be conscience—calm’d—see here it is—
  • I hold it towards you.

The idea of addressing a poem to one's love, brought AnnaLee to the poet Donald Justice and his poem, "Poem." In these seven stanzas the word "you" seems to address multiple faces: the creator, the receiver, the iterative process, the mystery, and ultimately the poem itself, which is trapped in the prison of its words.

  • This poem is not addressed to you.
  • You may come into it briefly,
  • But no one will find you here, no one.
  • You will have changed before the poem will.
  • Even while you sit there, unmovable,
  • You have begun to vanish. And it does not matter.
  • The poem will go on without you.
  • It has the spurious glamor of certain voids.
  • It is not sad, really, only empty.
  • Once perhaps it was sad, no one knows why.
  • It prefers to remember nothing.
  • Nostalgias were peeled from it long ago.
  • Your type of beauty has no place here.
  • Night is the sky over this poem.
  • It is too black for stars.
  • And do not look for any illumination.
  • You neither can nor should understand what it means.
  • Listen, it comes without guitar,
  • Neither in rags nor any purple fashion.
  • And there is nothing in it to comfort you.
  • Close your eyes, yawn. It will be over soon.
  • You will forget the poem, but not before
  • It has forgotten you. And it does not matter.
  • It has been most beautiful in its erasures.
  • O bleached mirrors! Oceans of the drowned!
  • Nor is one silence equal to another.
  • And it does not matter what you think.
  • This poem is not addressed to you.

We're looking forward to seeing you at the February 12th One Page Poetry Circle. Whether a poem reminds you of a special time in your life, connects you with a special person, or simply distinguishes between one person and another, 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, February 12, Poetry and You
Tuesday, March 5, Poetry and Food
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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