Welcome to the One Page Poetry Circle at St. Agnes Branch Library

Date: Tuesday, October 13: Poetry and Ghosts and Zombies
Time: 5:30 – 6:30 pm
Place: St. Agnes Branch Library, 444 Amsterdam Ave. (near 81st) 3rd Fl.
Theme: Poetry and Ghosts and Zombies

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

We’re back for the eighth 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 started, participants have selected and discussed 837 poems and have read countless others in pursuit of poetry that speaks to them.

Poetry of ghosts and zombies should be a good prelude to Halloween! An always popular theme on television and in the movies, it may seem an odd combination with poetry. Many excellent examples of the genre are available in the collection Poems Dead and Undead (ed. Tony Barstone, Everyman’s Library, 2014).

As children we repeated the traditional Scottish prayer to keep us from harm:

From ghoulies and ghosties 
And long-leggedy beasties 
And things that go bump in the night, 
Good Lord, deliver us!

Yet we all have things in common with ghosts and zombies, as Christopher Kennedy relates in the prose poem, “Ghost in the Land of Skeletons”:

If not for flesh’s pretty paint, we’re just a bunch of skeletons, working hard to deny the fact of bones. Teeth remind me that we die. That’s why I never smile, except when looking at a picture of a ghost, captured by a camera lens, in a book about the paranormal. When someone takes a picture of a spirit, it gives me hope. I admire the ones who refuse to go away. Lovers scorned and criminals burned. I love the dead little girl who plays in her yard, a spectral game of hide and seek. It’s the fact they don’t know they’re dead that appeals to me most. Like a man once said to me, Do you ever feel like you’re a ghost? Sure, I answered, every day. He laughed at that and disappeared. All I could think was he beat me to it.

What’s your favorite poem about the undead?

~Abigail Burnham Bloom and AnnaLee Wilson