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poetry circle

One Page Poetry Circle Archive


May, 2013.

Thank you to all who have come to the One Page Poetry Circle at St. Agnes Branch Library, to those who have read our notices, and to those who have visited our blog (http://onepagepoetrycircle.wordpress.com). We hope you will post on our blog over the summer and come back to the library in the fall!

For our final meeting of the spring 2013 season, we set chairs in a circle and concluded OPPC's spring season with what else but Poetry and Circles!

Abigail began by reading the start of Walt Whitman's "When Lilacs Last in the Door-yard Bloom'd": "When lilacs last in the door-yard bloom'd,/And the great star early droop'd in the western sky in the night,/I mourn'd-and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring." Whitman was reminded of Lincoln's death each time he saw lilacs bloom; when Abigail sees them she thinks of this great poem.

Roger read "Design" by Billy Collins in which he describes pouring salt on the table and drawing a circle in it, "This is the cycle of life/I say to no one./This is the wheel of fortune,/the Arctic Circle." At the end of his incantation, the narrator becomes part of this circle as he touches his finger to his tongue.

Hazel read William Wordsworth's sonnet, "It Is a Beauteous Evening, Calm and Free," which envisions a tranquil scene at sunset until the poet focuses on a child's innocence, "Thou liest in Abraham's bosom all the year;/And worshipp'st at the Temple's inner shrine,/God being with thee when we know it not." Hazel explained to us that Abraham's bosom refers to being at rest with one's ancestors.

Sylvia read "Book Club" by Ted Kooser, the current American Poet Laureate, which depicts a husband banished to the basement while his wife entertains her lady friends, "Through the long afternoon,/he'll sit there pretending to read,/while above him the pink mints go around/in slow circles, and lovely Hawaii/comes to Des Moines in the hula/of numb fannies on laboring chairs." We laughed at the similarity to our own situation in the poetry circle.

Karen read three short poems from a children's book of poetry. "Mrs. Moon" by Roger McGough depicts the moon as an old lady, "with a ball/Of fading light/And silvery needles/Knitting the night." We loved the pictures that accompanied the poems!

Cate read Sam Hamill's "The Orchid Flower" which finds the extraordinary in the ordinary cycle of life and compares an erotic orchid with his wife, "who grows, yes, more beautiful/because one of us will die."

Jaye read the impressionistic ending to "Encounter" by Czeslaw Milosz, "O my love, where are they, where are they going/The flash of a hand, streak of movement, rustle of pebbles./I ask not out of sorrow, but in wonder."

Mike read "Astronomies" by Sydney Duncan which begins with a description of a planet, "Saturn's rings viewed dead on/are invisible this year; we peer through telescopes, wait/to be told it's all true," and ends with a discussion of a relationship.

Roz read Elizabeth Barrett Browning's sonnet "How Do I Love Thee" which ends, "I love thee with the breath,/Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,/I shall but love thee better after death. We felt that reading a poem, even a poem that we know well, with a specific theme like circles in mind, helps us to see the poem in a new way, as in this case where devotion continues after death.

AnnaLee completed the circle with Howard Nemerov's "A Primer of the Daily Round," written in the Abededarian form which makes a connection between people by imposing alphabetical order on the disorderliness of life only to return us to A at the end: "A peels an apple, while B kneels to God,/C telephones to D, who has a hand on E's kneeā€¦."

While we're on break, visit our new blog for a lively discussion of anything to do with poetry! http://onepagepoetrycircle.wordpress.com

Fall Lineup:

September 10 Poetry and Gardening
October 8 Poetry and Friendship
November 12 Poetry and Youth
December 10 Antiquity and Modernity

See you in September!


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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