The One Page Poetry Circle met on On March 8 to discuss Poetry and Science.

Abigail began the evening with May Kendall’s, “The Lay of the Trilobite,” in which the trilobite lectures the believer in the providential nature of natural selection on Victorian society until the man declares: “I wish that Evolution could/Have stopped a little quicker;/For oh, it was a happy plight,/Of liberty and ease,/To be a simple Trilobite/In the Silurian seas!”

Roger read Christina Rossetti’s lovely celebration of nature, “Who Has Seen the Wind?”: Who has seen the wind?/Neither I nor you:/But when the leaves hang trembling,/The wind is passing through.”

Lorraine read Jan Owen’s “First Love” which depicts the scene during a lesson on Archimedes in Physics class when the narrator fell for a man pictured in a book, “I got six overdues,/suspension of borrowing rights/and a D in Physics./But had by heart what Archimedes proves.”

Phil read the biologist and poet Joanna Tilsley’s beautifully illustrated “Natural Geodesic” describing the eyes of the bee, “Oh to be/a Honey Bee,/And see The World/in bright 5-D.”

Gail read “Ego” by Denise Duhamel wherein a schoolgirl attempts to understand the solar system based on a classroom depiction with fruit and a flashlight, “I just couldn’t grasp it-/this whole citrus universe, these bumpy planets revolving so slowly/no one could even see themselves moving.”

AnnaLee read an excerpt from John Donne’s “An Anatomy of the World” which was written shortly after Galileo published the evidence that Copernicus was right, the earth was not the center of the universe: “The sun is lost, and th’ earth, and no man’s wit/Can well direct him where to look for it.”

We had extra time so that Gigi read her poem “Splattered” which was based on a true account of a woman killed by a drunk driver.

AnnaLee, Phil and Lorraine each read a second poem to add to the diversity of approaches to the theme of science. We had poems by scientists, poems of childhood and adult responses to science, scoffers and close scientific observations. Larry contributed to the discussion by blogging online about Emily Dickinson’s scientific orientation and Howard Nemerov’s “Einstein & Freud & Jack”: “When Einstein wrote to ask him what he thought/Science might do for world peace, Freud wrote back:/Not much. And took the occasion to point out/That science too begins and ends in myth.”

We look forward to seeing the poems you select for Poetry and Identity and to discussing them with you on April 12.

Bring a poem of a known poet. Bring a friend. Show up! And widen the circle! Without your support the library may find other uses for the spacious room they’ve given us.

We hope you will blog with us here at onepagepoetrycircle.wordpress.com.

We look forward to seeing you at our upcoming circle on April 12, for a discussion on poems that deal with Identity.

Spring Schedule: 
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.

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