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poetry circle

One Page Poetry Circle Archive


One Page Poetry Circle

Welcome to the Virtual One Page Poetry Circle!

Date: September 29, 2020
Theme: Poetry and Despair

Find a poem! Read a poem! Discuss a poem!

We're back for the thirteenth fall 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 1232 poems and have read countless others in pursuit of poetry that speaks to them.

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

Our theme for September is Poetry and Despair. In this time of the coronavirus and political division, we are all struggling with separation from people and the things we love, and reassessing our commitments and goals. By sharing our feelings we can acknowledge both our losses and the pleasures and connections that remain. Let's unite to bridge the distances between us.

"The Peace of Wild Things" by Wendell Berry suggests how we might escape thoughts of desolation which often come at night:

  • When despair for the world grows in me
  • And I wake in the night at the least sound
  • In fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
  • I go and lie down where the wood drake
  • Rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
  • I come into the peace of wild things
  • Who do not tax their lives with forethought
  • Of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
  • And I feel above me the day-blind stars
  • Waiting with their light. For a time
  • I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Gwendolyn Brooks' "Paul Robeson" remembers when the singer and civil rights activist moved beyond the despondency of his celebrated "Ol' Man River" to a wiser "Adult Voice"—a voice which warned that we are all interconnected, and that the fate of one group is the fate of all:

  • That time
  • we all heard it,
  • cool and clear,
  • cutting across the hot grit of the day.
  • The major Voice.
  • The adult Voice
  • forgoing Rolling River,
  • forgoing tearful tale of bale and barge
  • and other symptoms of an old despond.
  • Warning, in music-words
  • devout and large,
  • that we are each other’s
  • harvest:
  • we are each other’s
  • business:
  • we are each other’s
  • magnitude and bond.

Whether a poem speaks of despair itself or of finding relief, choose a poem that has meaning to you. Then email it to one of us by September 29th, with a brief comment of why you chose it and what it means to you. Can't locate a poem you want to send? Check out Poetry Foundation or poets.org.

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

Fall 2020 Schedule
September 29: Despair
October 13: Leaves
November 10: Voting
December 8: Future

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


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