The One Page Poetry Circle met on September 13 to discuss Dialogue Poems.

Abigail began the circle by reading Thomas Hardy’s “The Ruined Maid” in which a woman from the country and a woman from the town converse about the virtues and vices of lovely clothing. “‘My dear — a raw country girl, such as you be,/Cannot quite expect that. You ain’t ruined,’ said she.”

Roger read from Act 2, Scene 2 of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, as Romeo speaks of Juliet’s beauty and Juliet worries about her admirer’s name, “O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?/Deny thy father and refuse thy name,/Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,/And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.”

Hazel read “The Little Black Boy” from William Blake’s Songs of Innocence which begins: “My mother bore me in the southern wild,/And I am black, but O my soul is white.” This poem led to notice of where the name of the film “Beasts of the Southern Wild” came from and the more complicated idea of whether racism played a part in Blake’s thinking.

Gail read Leah Goldberg’s “Dialogue,” in which a man and a woman speak through seeming impenetrability, “Scorched by loneliness, towards a strange world’s lands/I carry my dust in my own hands.”

We were delighted that several people joined the circle for the first time. Of these, only Susan brought a poem, “That Single Line,” from How Beautiful the Beloved by Gregory Orr which describes the importance of poetry with its ability to reach other people, “Rescue is imminent./Too soon to say whose.”

AnnaLee closed the circle by reading the funny and touching “Munition Wages” by Madeline Ida Bedford, a woman who worked in an ammunition factory during World War I: “We’re all here today, mate,/Tomorrow — perhaps dead,/If Fate tumbles on us/And blows up our shed.”

Larry added two dialogue poems to our blog, the compact and tense “I Know a Man” by Robert Creeley and Robert Herrick’s more traditional “The Kisse: A Dialogue.” You can read them here at

We look forward to seeing the poems you select for A Poem for Your Pocket and to discussing them with you on October 4.

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

Fall Schedule:
October 4, A Poem for Your Pocket
November 1, Prose Poem
December 13, Poetry and Endings

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.