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poetry circle

One Page Poetry Circle Archive


One Page Poetry Circle

Welcome to the Virtual One Page Poetry Circle!

Date: Tuesday, February 8, 2022
Theme: Poetry and Isolation

Find a poem! Send a poem by email!

We're back for the fourteenth spring season of the One Page Poetry Circle where people examine the 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. Since the circle began, participants have selected and discussed 1340 poems and have read countless others in pursuit of poetry that speaks to them.

This spring we will gather virtually, by email. We ask you to send us the poems you have selected on the subject of Poetry and Isolation, with a comment on why you chose them. We'll share the poems with you through our blog and by email.

Our theme for February is Isolation. As we enter the third year of the pandemic, most of us are feeling more isolated, lonely, and sequestered than we may like. Poetry can bring us comfort and a perspective on our situation. Sharing that poetry connects us all.

In "Aboriginal Landscape" the poet Louise Glück writes-with wry humor-of the isolation of a graveyard when visiting her deceased family members. The poem begins:

  • You’re stepping on your father, my mother said,
  • and indeed I was standing exactly in the center
  • of a bed of grass, mown so neatly it could have been
  • my father’s grave, although there was no stone saying so.
  • You’re stepping on your father, she repeated,
  • louder this time, which began to be strange to me,
  • since she was dead herself; even the doctor had admitted it.
  • I moved slightly to the side, to where
  • my father ended and my mother began.
  • The cemetery was silent. Wind blew through the trees;
  • I could hear, very faintly, sounds of? weeping several rows away,
  • and beyond that, a dog wailing.
  • At length these sounds abated. It crossed my mind
  • I had no memory of ??being driven here,
  • to what now seemed a cemetery, though it could have been
  • a cemetery in my mind only; perhaps it was a park, or if not a park,
  • a garden or bower, perfumed, I now realized, with the scent of roses—
  • douceur de vivre filling the air, the sweetness of? living,
  • as the saying goes. At some point,
  • it occurred to me I was alone.
  • Where had the others gone,
  • my cousins and sister, Caitlin and Abigail?

Charles Baudelaire posited an unusual solution to the "horrible burden of time" in his prose poem, "Be Drunk":

  • You have to be always drunk. That’s all there is to it—it’s the only way. So as not to feel the horrible burden of time that breaks your back and bends you to the earth, you have to be continually drunk.
  • But on what? Wine, poetry or virtue, as you wish. But be drunk.
  • And if sometimes, on the steps of a palace or the green grass of a ditch, in the mournful solitude of your room, you wake again, drunkenness already diminishing or gone, ask the wind, the wave, the star, the bird, the clock, everything that is flying, everything that is groaning, everything that is rolling, everything that is singing, everything that is speaking…ask what time it is and wind, wave, star, bird, clock will answer you: “It is time to be drunk! So as not to be the martyred slaves of time, be drunk, be continually drunk! On wine, on poetry or on virtue as you wish.”

Whether a poem describes isolation, reflects on isolation, or makes you feel less isolated, choose a poem that has meaning to you. Then email it to one of us by February 8th, with a brief comment of why you chose it.

Can't locate a poem you want to send? Check out Poetry Foundation or poets.org. And take a look at the poet Sadie Dupuis's "On Reading and Writing Poetry During a Pandemic."

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

Spring 2022 Schedule
February 8: Isolation
March 8: Shoes
April 12: Slant Rhymes
May 10: Clouds

Abigail Burnham Bloom, abigailburnhambloom@gmail.com
AnnaLee Wilson, annalee@kaeserwilson.com


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