The One Page Poetry Circle completed its fall season on December 8 with Poetry and Marriage. For a peek at our spring season, see below.OPPC_KeyArt_Dec08

Abigail opened the circle by reading Robert Browning’s “Two in the Campagna” in which the narrator and his love enjoy Rome’s countryside and wrestle with the difficulty of mortal love, “Infinite passion, and the pain/Of finite hearts that yearn.”

Roger read the most famous marriage poem in Western culture, Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 116,” which opens with words taken from the wedding ceremony. “Let me not to the marriage of true minds/admit impediments.” The poem starts with the timelessness of love and ends with Shakespeare staking his reputation on it: “If this be error and upon me proved,/I never writ, nor no man ever loved.”

read the beautiful words of America’s first published woman poet, Anne Bradstreet. “To My Dear and Loving Husband” evokes the strong and specific quality of love in her marriage that she hopes will survive the grave, “Then while we live, in love let’s so persever,/That when we live no more, we may live ever.”

Ralda read Wang Chien’s (768-830) “The New Wife” which is below in its entirety (and would work well for February’s topic):

One the third day she went down to the kitchen, 
Washed her hands, prepared the broth. 
Still unaware of her new mother’s likings, 
She asks his sister to taste.

Gail read couplets from “Locksley Hall” by Alfred Lord Tennyson, wherein the narrator expresses his contempt for his love’s husband, “He will hold thee, when his passion shall have spent its novel force,/Something better than his dog, a little dearer than his horse.”

Eileen read Wilferd Arlan Peterson’s “The Art of a Good Marriage” which gives trite but good advice to the newlywed, “It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner./It is discovering what marriage can be, at its best.”

AnnaLee closed the circle with Deborah Landau’s “The Wedding Party ” describing the hectic scene and not always polite, but often hilarious, voices at the wedding celebration, “This part we’ll remember. Dull and easy./Before the spawning and apathy./Before the dementia nurse/and waiting for mama to die.”

Thank you, Larry, for posting poems about marriage on our blog. Read them there and make your own comments or make a post yourself at

Though winter hasn’t yet shown its face, we are already looking forward to seeing you February 9, for our first program of 2016: Poetry from Afar. Most of the poems we discuss stem from Great Britain or the United States, so this will be an opportunity to look outside our usual tradition. What poems from afar will you discover? There’s a world of poetry for us to explore!

In the meantime, Happy Holidays to All! And remember to blog with us at

Spring Schedule:

February 9: Poetry from Afar
March 8: Poetry and Science
April 12: Poetry and Identity
May 10: Poetry and Failure and Success

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.