The One Page Poetry Circle opened its fall season on September 8 with a favorite poem. Everyone seemed to find this assignment difficult. Most of us could point to many poems we’d loved since childhood, some reflecting a significant period of time in our lives or a connection with a particular person.

Abigail began with “I wandered Lonely as a Cloud,” in which William Wordsworth describes his double joy, first of happening upon a scene, “When all at once I saw a crowd,/A host, of golden daffodils,” then in his ability to later recollect it, “And then my heart with pleasure fills,/And dances with the daffodils.”

Roger read William Ernest Henley’s “Invictus” which was important to him when he faced cancer, “It matters not how strait the gate,/How charged with punishments the scroll,/I am the master of my fate,/I am the captain of my soul.”

Hazel read Robert Burns’s “Afton Water,” “Flow gently, sweet Afton, among thy green braes,/Flow gently, sweet river, the theme of my lays” which she chose because it was her father’s favorite and because it was a love poem and not depressing, unlike so many of the poems she considered.

Phil read Elizabeth Bishop’s “One Art,” as he fears he is at the age where he is losing everything, “It’s evident/the art of losing’s not too hard to master/though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.”

Gale read “To His Coy Mistress” by Andrew Marvell, with its description of slow seduction and final account of what should transpire between the couple, “Now let us sport us while we may,/And now, like amorous birds of prey.”

Terry read Edwin Markham’s “The Right Kind of People” a fable in which a wise man tells each traveler what kind of people to expect in the city ahead. He bases his answers on the traveler’s own account of the people in the city he just left: “Gone is the city, gone is the day,/Yet still the story and the meaning stay.”

Karen read Li-Young Lee’s “From Blossoms,” with its description of where peaches originate, “There are days we live/as if death were nowhere/in the background; from joy/to joy, from wing to wing,/from blossom to blossom to/impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.”

AnnaLee read “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” by Wallace Stevens and of the myriad possible ways, AnnaLee stated the fifth was her favorite: “I do not know which to prefer,/The beauty of inflections/Or the beauty of innuendoes,/The blackbird whistling/Or just after.”

Ralda read “Pied Beauty” by Gerard Manley Hopkins with its beautiful descriptions of the complicated and imperfect: “Landscape plotted and pieced — fold, fallow, and plough;/And all trades, their gear ad tackle trim.”

We look forward to our next OPPC on October 13: Poetry and Ghosts and Zombies. Bring a friend and widen the circle!

Fall Schedule:

October 13: Poetry and Ghosts and Zombies
November 10: Poetry and Clothes
December 8: Poetry and Marriage

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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