We concluded our fall season on December 11, with a full house, and an exploration of Poetry and Wine.

Abigail opened the circle with “Ode to a Nightingale” by John Keats in which the speaker chooses to soar, as we did, “not charioted by Bacchus and his pards,/But on the viewless wings of Poesy.”

Roger read “Easter Week” by Joyce Kilmer, a remembrance of the 1916 Easter Uprising, “Romantic Ireland is not old./For years untold her youth shall shine./Her heart is fed on Heavenly bread,/The blood of martyrs is her wine.”

Hazel read “A Consecration” by John Masefield in which the narrator vows to write about the poor, “Others may sing of the wine and the wealth and the mirth,/the portly presence of potentates goodly in girth;–/Mine be the dirt and the dross, the dust and scum of the earth!”

Gail read “The Wine” by Michael Metivier which tells a modern tale of an ancient figure, “When the townspeople/gave the teenaged Buddha/a glass of wine/so delicious he grew/to an unthinkable size.”

Ann read Tony Hoagland’s “When Dean Young Talks about Wine,” which addresses the new generation of poets, “But where is the Cabernet of rent checks and asthma medication?/Where is the Burgundy of orthopedic shoes?”

Madge read Zbigniew Herbert’s “Mr. Cogito Reflects on Suffering,” in which the wise and wry narrator cautions us to “drink an extract of bitter herbs/but not to the dregs/be careful to leave/a few gulps for the future.”

Phil read “The Wine-Drinkers” by Tennessee Williams with its sad depiction of men who dream but do not act, “The wine-drinkers sit on the porte cochère in the sun./Their lack of success in love has made them torpid.”

Kat read “A Drinking Song” by William Butler Yeats about love and yearning, “Wine comes in at the mouth/And love comes in at the eye;/That’s all we shall know for truth/Before we grow old and die.”

Cate brought “Picking Grapes in an Abandoned Vineyard” by Larry Levis in which the narrator reflects on harvesting grapes with migrant workers, “And close my eyes to hear them laugh at me again,/And then, hearing nothing, no one,/Carry the grapes up to the solemn house,/Where I was born.”

Terry read the traditional and wonderful “Song: to Celia” by Ben Johnson, which got us singing, “Drink to me only with thine eyes,/And I will pledge with mine.”

Carol read Pablo Neruda’s “Ode to Wine,” with its opposing hues of “Day-colored wine,/night-colored wine,/wine with purple feet/or wine with topaz blood,/wine/starry child/of earth.”

Christiana read “Drinking Wine” by Wislawa Szymborska, in which the speaker is “imaginary” in contrast to wine, “A table is a table,/wine is wine in a glass/that is just a glass and stands/standing on a table.”

AnnaLee read “Wine Tasting” by Kim Addonizio, with its nod to the poet Li Po, “like the moon slung away from the earth./When Li Po drank wine, the moon dove/in the river, and he staggered after.” The reference to an 8th century Chinese poet led her to read his “Drinking Alone with the Moon.”

Daria contributed “Harlem Wine,” which honors the richness of Harlem’s culture, “This is a wine that must flow on/Not caring how or where/So it has ways to flow upon/Where song is in the air.” Its author, Countee Cullen, has a branch of the New York Public Library named after him.

Enjoy the holidays! We look forward to seeing you in 2019.

Please blog with us here at onepagepoetrycircle.wordpress.com.

Spring 2019 Schedule
Tuesday, February 12, Poetry and You
Tuesday, March 5, Poetry and Food
Tuesday, April 2, Poetry and Mystery
Tuesday, May 7, Poetry and Longing

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.