The One Page Poetry Circle met on February 7th to discuss Poetry and Snakes. Snakes had seemed like such an interesting topic because of their real and metaphoric possibilities. Yet, when we looked for snake poems, we found few that satisfied us. That said, everyone had snake stories and strong feelings about them!

Abigail began by reading Matthew Arnold’s “Cadmus and Harmonia” describing the rural life of two mortals who had been transformed into snakes, “Placed safely in changed forms, the pair/Wholly forgot their first sad life, and home,/And all that Theban woe, and stray/For ever through the glens, placid and dumb.”

Roger read “Dead Snake in the Middle of the Trail” by Fritz Crytzer which explores man’s natural antipathy to snakes, “Who else would wantonly kill the creatures of God/until the scent of their beauty, the taste of their bounty,/has dissolved into a wistful dream of barrenness?/Man, the hating antipathy of Nature’s burgeon.”

AnnaLee read “Fear of Snakes” in which Lorna Crozier describes a young woman confronting sexuality as the boys chase her with a snake, “the others yelling, Drop it down her back, my terror of its sliding in the runnel of my spine (Larry,/the one who touched the inside of my legs on the swing).”

Gail read from “Lamia” by John Keats, wherein he describes a woman transformed into a serpent, “She was a gordian shape of dazzling hue,/Vermilion-spotted, golden, green, and blue;/Striped like a zebra, freckled like a pard,/Eyed like a peacock, and all crimson barr’d.”

Kim read Emily Dickinson’s “A Narrow Fellow in the Grass” with its famous last image: “But never met this Fellow/Attended or alone/Without a tighter Breathing/And Zero at the Bone.”

Karen read the dark “No Reservation” by Poet Destroyer A, “Silently she swarms in like a leech,/Feeding and sucking from the wounds my pain left behind./She came inside: ‘Uninvited!’/Here have a drink, and die!”

Jan read “Man Dog” by Jim Harrison in which a man attempts to act like his dog but finds himself rejected, “Now I’m rather too near a thicket where/I saw a big black snake last week that might decide/to join me. I moved near the actual dog this time/but she got up and went under the porch. She doesn’t like/it when I’m acting weird.”

Terry read “The Boy and the Snake” by Charles Lamb in which a mother watches her innocent child talk to a snake and fears the worst, “The danger’s o’er–she sees the boy/(O what a change from fear to joy!)/Rise and bid the snake ‘good-bye;’/Says he, ‘Our breakfast’s done, and I/Will come again to-morrow day:’/Then, lightly tripping ran away.”

We look forward to seeing the works you select for Poetry and Anaphora and to discussing them with you on March 7. 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.

Please blog with us here at And check back here for our notice for the next One Page Poetry Circle.

Spring 2017 Schedule
March 7, Poetry and Anaphora
April 18, Poetry and Silence
May 9, Poetry and Theft

~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.