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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, March 6
Time: 5:30 - 6:30 pm
Place: St. Agnes Branch Library, 444 Amsterdam Avenue (near 81st Street), 3rd Floor
Theme: Poetry and Enjambment (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 1047 poems and have read countless others in pursuit of poetry that speaks to them.

Sometimes we like to choose a theme that teaches us something about poetry. Recently we looked at poetry and punctuation, and since then we’ve noticed that we are paying more attention to how punctuation is used in poetry. And now for March we’ll explore enjambment, a technique where one poetic line moves to the next, without punctuation at the end of the line; it is the opposite of an end-stopped line. Enjambment creates tension as we are used to pausing at the end of poetic lines, and yet we must read on to the next line in order to complete the sentence or thought. Homer used enjambment as did John Milton in Paradise Lost, calling it “sense variously drawn out from one verse into another.” The start of T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land uses enjambment in lines 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6, and end stops in lines 4 and 7:

  • April is the cruelest month, breeding
  • Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
  • Memory and desire, stirring
  • Dull roots with spring rain.
  • Winter kept us warm, covering
  • Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
  • A little life with dried tubers.

In the ten enjambed lines of “Between Walls” by William Carlos Williams, the poet forces us to both speed up to complete the thoughts, and slow down to consider words at the end of lines:

  • The back wings
  • of the

  • hospital where
  • nothing

  • will grow lie
  • cinders

  • in which shine
  • the broken

  • pieces of a green
  • bottle

We take a broad approach to our themes. Whether a poem uses enjambment (and almost any poem not written in couplets does), or has a theme connected with momentum, feel free to bring a poem that has meaning for you. Can’t locate a poem you want to bring? Browse the poetry section at the library or check out Poetry Foundation or poets.org.

Please blog with us at onepagepoetrycircle.wordpress.com.

Spring 2018 Schedule
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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