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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, November 9, 2021
Theme: Hypocrisy

Find a poem! Send a poem by email!

We're back for the fourteenth 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 1316 poems and have read countless others in pursuit of poetry that speaks to them.

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

Hypocrisy is described as the claim to have virtues or beliefs that one does not actually possess or show in one's actions. The word is derived from the Greek word hypokrites, which means an actor or a person who plays on a stage from behind a mask.

Abigail was surprised to read Ambrose Bierce's "The New Decalogue" as she knew Bierce for his short stories, and didn't know he published poetry. The poem is based on "The Latest Decalogue" by the English poet, Arthur Hugh Clough. Here is Bierce's poem in its entirety:

  • Have but one God: thy knees were sore
  • If bent in prayer to three or four.
  • Adore no images save those
  • The coinage of thy country shows.
  • Take not the Name in vain. Direct
  • Thy swearing unto some effect.
  • Thy hand from Sunday work be held—
  • Work not at all unless compelled.
  • Kill not—death liberates thy foe
  • From persecution’s constant woe.
  • Kiss not thy neighbor’s wife. Of course
  • There’s no objection to divorce.
  • To steal were folly, for ‘tis plain
  • In cheating there is greater gain.
  • Bear not false witness. Shake your head
  • And say that you have “heard it said.”
  • Who stays to covet ne’er will catch
  • An opportunity to snatch.

AnnaLee was touched by William Blake's "The Chimney Sweeper" from Songs of Experience (1794), which illuminates the hypocrisy of parents selling an innocent child into slavery and leaving him to his fate. Meanwhile, they proclaim their righteousness by attending church—the very church along with the state that allows children to be sold into slavery to sweep soot out of chimneys: "And because I am happy and dance and sing,/They think they have done me no injury,/And are gone to praise God and his priest and king,/Who make up a heaven of our misery."

In whatever way your poem mentions hypocrisy, shows hypocrisy, or reminds you of hypocrisy, email it to one of us by November 9th, with a brief comment on why you chose it. Looking for a poem to send? Check out Poetry Foundation or poets.org.In whatever way your poem mentions hypocrisy, shows hypocrisy, or reminds you of hypocrisy, email it to one of us by November 9th, with a brief comment on why you chose it. Looking for a poem to send? Check out Poetry Foundation or poets.org.

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

Fall 2021 Schedule
November 9: Hypocrisy
December 14: Mementos

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

 


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