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Wine and Poetry go back a long time together: the festival of Dionysus, in Greek mythology, and Bacchus, in Roman, celebrated wine and poetry. Wine has been a muse to poets, and all too often a curse, in all cultures.

Percy Bysshe Shelley’s fragment, “The Vine-Shroud,” combines the “flourishing” growth of the grape with the ruin below in Italy:

Flourishing vine, whose kindling clusters glow
Beneath the autumnal sun, none taste of thee;
For thou dost shroud a ruin, and below
The rotting bones of dead antiquity.

Writing about the start of vineyards in California, Robert Louis Stevenson stated in Silverado Squatters that “Wine is bottled poetry.

In 2016 the word “wine” was banished from books published in Iran. It wasn’t always so. Once there was a strong tradition of wine-themed poetry. In the opening lines of “Pass Around the Cup Fair Maiden,” the 11th century poet and Sufi Master, Hafiz (born in Shiraz!) wrote: 

Pass around the cup fair maiden,
Because Love seemed easy at first,
But now I see how difficult it is.

Post your thoughts on the subject of Poetry and Wine. Blog with us here at onepagepoetrycircle.wordpress.com. To make a comment click the little orange speech balloon under the headline of this post. 

One Page Poetry Circle Meeting Information:
Theme: Poetry and Wine
When: Tuesday, December 11, 5:30 – 6:30 pm
Where: St. Agnes Branch Library, 444 Amsterdam Ave. 
3rd Floor, NYC

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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The One Page Poetry Circle met in November to discuss Poetry and Simplicity.

All of the poems presented complex ideas in a single page.

Abigail opened the circle with Una Hynum’s “Origami,” “Yesterday I laundered a mouse — / wash, rinse, spin cycled.” The mouse emerges looking “as if sculpted from Japanese Kami paper,” perfect but dead.

Roger read Dejan Stojanovic’s “Simplicity,” which in two-line verses explores the idea that “The most complicated skill/Is to be simple.”

Hazel read Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s tranquil “Prelude to the Voices of the Night,” evoking the beauty of lying under a tree and looking up, “Pleasant it was, when woods were green,/And winds were soft and low.”

Gail read “The Meaning of Simplicity” by the Greek poet Yannis Ritsos in which everyday things become bridges of connection, “you will touch those objects my hand has touched/the traces of our hands will mingle.”

Elizabeth read Ron Padgett’s “Wristwatch,” written while the author was “… feeling rather tempus fugit.” “Maybe I should/just sit here/for a while, let/some time pass/so my wife will think/I’ve been working hard.”

Christiana read “To Stand in the Shadow” by Paul Celan, with its suggestion of something that cannot be spoken, “To stand in the Shadow/of the Wound’s-Mark in the Air.”

Michael read “The Song of Wandering Aengus” by William Butler Yeats. The narrator seeks Aengus, a god of love and youth in Irish mythology, who beckoned him in his youth, “Though I am old with wandering/through hollow lands and hilly lands,/I will find out where she has gone.”

Cate read Joy Harjo’s “Sunrise Healing Song” that combines English with the Creek language, “What obscures, falls away./Ha yut ke hvtke.” Although we don’t know the translation, we love the mystery of the refrain.

Kat read the Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore’s “Paper Boats,” “I load my little boats with shiuli flower from our garden, and/hope that these blooms of the dawn will be carried safely to land/in the night.”

Phil read “On Turning Ten” by Billy Collins, “You tell me it is too early to be looking back,/but that is because you have forgotten/the perfect simplicity of being one/and the beautiful complexity introduced by two.”

AnnaLee read Archibald MacLeish’s “Ars Poetica,” which concludes, “A poem should not mean/But be.” She also brought John Ciardi’s exercise of stripping out the imagery of MacLeish’s poem to show that to oversimplify removes the “be.”

Kai couldn’t be there but suggested “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” by Wallace Stevens with its startling images.


Fall 2018 Schedule
Tuesday, December 11, Poetry and Wine

Join us in the Spring!
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.

Welcome to the One Page Poetry Circle at St. Agnes Branch Library! We’re back for the eleventh season of the One Page Poetry Circle where people gather to examine the works of established poets. While there’s no instructor and this is not a workshop for personal writing, once a month OPPC gives everyone a place to become teachers and learners to explore the form, content, language and meaning of poetry. Since the circle began, participants have selected and discussed 1099 poems and have read countless others in pursuit of poetry that speaks to them.

By abandoning unwanted descriptions and unnecessary words, poetry achieves simplicity—expressing much with little. There have been one word poems and one line poems such as the haikus by Ozaki Hōsai: “In a kindling fire I can see all my furniture” and “I’ve become completely alone and the evening sky.”

Henry David Thoreau composed a two-line poem:

My life has been the poem I would have writ
but I could not both live and utter it.

Poems that express simplicity don’t need to be short, just elegant, as in these opening lines from “The Meaning of Simplicity” by Yannis Ritsos:

I hide behind simple things so you’ll find me;
if you don’t find me, you’ll find the things,
you’ll touch what my hand has touched,
our hand-prints will merge 

We’re looking forward to the poems you bring on the subject of Simplicity. Whether a poem speaks in simple terms, concerns simplicity, or expresses its meaning with ease and grace, choose a poem that has meaning to you. And if you can, come with copies for others to share. Can’t locate a poem you want to bring? Browse the poetry section at the library or check out Poetry Foundation or poets.org.

In the meantime, please blog with us at onepagepoetrycircle.wordpress.com.

Date: November 13
Time: 5:30 – 6:30 pm
Place: St. Agnes Branch Library, 444 Amsterdam Ave.

Theme:
Poetry and Simplicity

Up and Coming
November 13, Poetry and Simplicity
December 11, Poetry and Wine

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.

The One Page Poetry Circle met on October 9 to discuss Cowboy Poetry. Cowboy Poetry developed as an oral tradition when cowboys sat around the campfire at night and entertained each other with songs. Few songs written at the time remain, and the poetry we found often reflected on cowboy life of the past or celebrated ranch life today. What we found may not have been our favorite poems of all time, but we managed to find good ones and had fun talking cowboy lingo and reminiscing about westerns in the movies and on tv.

Abigail opened the circle by reading “What Would Martha Do?” by Yvonne Hollenbeck who compares her activities as an active cowgirl with Martha Stewart: “I wonder if she’d fair so well if she lived on a ranch;/And what she’d use to get manure off of boots and pants./And when she’s plumb exhausted and she has to feed a crew,/I sometimes stop and wonder: ‘What would Martha do?’”

Roger, inspired by the mellifluous voice of Johnny Cash, read the anonymous ballad, “The Streets of Loredo”: “We beat the drum slowly and played the fife lowly,/And bitterly wept as we bore him along./For we loved our comrade, so brave, young and handsome,/We all loved our comrade, although he’d done wrong.”

Hazel read “The Cowboy” by John Antrobus picturing the majesty of the cowboy: “Ruddy and brown—careless and free—/A king in the saddle—he rides at will/O’er the measureless range where rarely change/The swart gray plans so weird and strange,/Treeless, and streamless, and wondrous still!”

Gail read Julian Mitchell’s “Lament for the Cowboy Life” which featured companionship and hardship, “Where the trails met, our herds met, too,/And mingled on their lowing way to slaughter./Spying ahead, the sky a parching blue,/We tortured valleys for their news of water.”

Terry read “The Time to Decide” by Bruce Kiskaddon concerning the importance of perspective when making a decision, “While the things that were always nearer,/The things that you thought were small;/Seemed to stand out grander and clearer./As you looked from the mountain wall.”

AnnaLee closed the circle with Elizabeth Ebert’s “True Grit” in which a man replicates John Wayne’s portrayal of Rooster Cogburn, “Now there’s a marshall who wasn’t yellow,/With his reins in his teeth and his guns in his hand/He rode right into that outlaw band./He was old like me, and tired and fat./I wish I could make one ride like that!”

June suggested this poem, “The Cows at Night” by Hayden Carruth in which the speaker admires a pasture of “the cows. Always a shock/to remember them there, those great breathings close in the dark.” Cate couldn’t attend but had chosen “Mud” by Amy Hale Auker, “Give me light,/flickering non-electric intimate,/creating a circle of us.” Although we didn’t have a campfire, we enjoyed the intimacy of our poetry circle!

Fall 2018 Schedule
Tuesday, November 13, Poetry and Simplicity
Tuesday, December 11, Poetry and Wine

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.

Welcome to the One Page Poetry Circle at St. Agnes Branch Library!
Cowboy poetry (October’s theme) originated with ad-libbed poems and lyrics about ranch life and what it meant to drive cattle across the country. Many of us grew up in the 50s with singing cowboys and cowgirls like Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, and Burl Ives who serenaded us through our TVs and radios. The tradition of exploring the cowboy life through poetry is very much alive today. While researching Cowboy poetry, we discovered Everything in this Song Is True (2018) on Amazon Prime, a film about modern cowboys who write poetry. There are also websites devoted to cowboy poetry.

Here’s an excerpt from “Homestead” by cowboy poet LaVerna Johnson, performed at a recent Durango Annual Cowboy Poetry Gathering:

We hear calls of cattle lowing, voices carry on the breeze
As it wanders down the canyon, then meanders through the trees.
While we stop to smell the sage, light shimmers “quakie’s” golden leave,
And it sure feels good to be back home again.

One of the most famous traditional cowboy poems, the “Cowboy’s Lament,” tells the tale of one cowboy related by another:

As I walked out in the streets of Laredo
As I walked out in Laredo one day,
I spied a poor cowboy, all wrapped in white linen
All wrapped in white linen and cold as the clay.

We’d love to hear from you. Just click the speech balloon next to the title of this blog post to put up your favorite Cowboy poem or add to the discussion. For inspiration browse the poetry section at your branch library or check out these and other online resources, Poetry Foundation or poets.org.

Fall 2018 Schedule
Tuesday, October 9, Cowboy Poetry
Tuesday, November 13, Poetry and Simplicity
Tuesday, December 11, Poetry and Wine  

Time: 5:30 – 6:30 pm
Place: St. Agnes Branch Library, 444 Amsterdam Ave. (81st, 3rd Fl.) 

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.

Welcome to One Page Poetry Circle at St. Agnes Branch Library!

The Circle met on September 11 to discuss Poetry and Disaster. We had a lively turnout despite the confluence of 9/11 and Rosh Hashanah.

Abigail opened the Circle with “Inauguration Poem” by Lynn Melnick which invites us to share a personal disaster, “Do you know what it’s like when a body twice yours/holds you down in the room where you make your life/until you wouldn’t know how to move even if he wasn’t holding you down and then he splits you further open.”

Roger read Paula Bardell’s reaction to 9/11, “Silence (over Manhattan)”: “A black September shadow cloaks the dawn,/The City’s once white teeth now rotting stumps.”

Hazel read “Once by the Pacific” by Robert Frost, a poet we don’t often associate with the Pacific or disasters, “The clouds were low and hairy in the skies,/Like locks blown forward in the gleam of eyes.”

Michelle read “The Children’s Moon” by Marilyn Nelson in which a black teacher meets her white students on their first day of class, “In my navy shirtwaist dress and three-inch heels,/my pearl clip-ons and newly red-rinsed curls,/I smoothed on lipstick, lipstick-marked my girls.”

Gail read Jane Kenyon’s “After an Illness, Walking the Dog,” in which connections are seen between the narrator and the dog, “I wait/until we’re nearly out to the main road/to put him back on the leash, and he/—the designated optimist—/imagines to the end that he is free.”

Cate read Ada Limón’s “Dream of Destruction” with its beautiful and strange imagery, “We somehow knew the electric orange volcanic ooze of hot lava was bound to bury us all, little spurts of ash popping early like precum and not innocuous at all.”

Terry read “The Man He Killed” by Thomas Hardy, “Yes; quaint and curious war is!/You shoot a fellow down/You’d treat if met where any bar is,/Or help to half-a-crown,” a sad reflection on killing.

Susan read Edna St. Vincent Millay’s “Dirge Without Music,” which repeats its first statement several times, “I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground. So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been time out of mind.”

Rollene read Elizabeth Bishop’s villanelle, “One Art,” with its almost-humorous escalation of losses, “The art of losing isn’t hard to master;/so many things seem filled with the intent/to be lost that their loss is no disaster.”

AnnaLee closed the Circle with Muriel Rukeyser’s “George Robinson Blues” from her Book of the Dead about the 1929 Hawks Nest Tunnel disaster in Gauley Bridge, West Virginia, which shows how in a disaster, we are all the same, “As dark as I am, when I came out at morning after the tunnel at night,/with a white man, nobody could have told which man was white./The dust had covered us both, and the dust was white.”

Dominick couldn’t come to the meeting, but remembered “The Wreck of the Deutschland” by Gerard Manley Hopkins, “Make mercy in all of us, out of us all/Mastery, but be adored, but be adored King.” If Kai had been able to attend, she would have brought “Songs to Survive the Summer” by Robert Hass, “Should I whisper in her ear,/death is the mother/of beauty?” June was reminded of “Thanks” by W.S. Merwin: “with nobody listening we are saying thank you/we are saying thank you and waving/dark though it is,” registering a grateful note despite disasters

Fall 2018 Schedule

Tuesday, October 9, Cowboy Poetry
Tuesday, November 13, Poetry and Simplicity
Tuesday, December 11, Poetry and Wine

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.

The One Page Poetry Circle at St. Agnes Branch Library will be back on September 11, 2018, for its eleventh season, where people gather to examine the works of established poets. While there’s no instructor and this is not a workshop for personal writing, once a month OPPC gives everyone a place to become teachers and learners to explore the form, content, language and meaning of poetry. Since the circle began, participants have selected and discussed 1081 poems and have read countless others in pursuit of poetry that speaks to them.

For September’s theme, Poetry and Disaster, we recognize the anniversary of one of the worst disasters of our lives. Maurice Blanchot wrote that “Disaster shuts down language. Disaster cannot be fathomed. Disaster stops all speech because the suffering it causes is so total and complete.” Theodor Adorno stated that “to write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric.” Yet the poet finds a way to respond to disaster with language, bearing witness to disaster. Psalm 137 begins with the lament after the destruction of Jerusalem, “By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept/when we remembered Zion” and ends with a desire for revenge, a response difficult to check. When disaster strikes, we look to poetry for comfort and support, seeking to understand how others felt in similar situations or how we can get past our despair.

According to William Blake in “Infant Sorrow,” man begins in a hostile environment and finds what comfort he can:

My mother groand! My father wept.
Into the dangerous world I leapt:
Helpless, naked, piping loud;
Like a fiend hid in a cloud.

Struggling in my fathers hands:
Striving against my swaddling bands:
Bound and weary I thought best
To sulk upon my mothers breast.

After 9/11, the New Yorker published Adam Zagajewski’s “Try to Praise the Mutilated World.” Actually written in 2000, the poem seemed prescient then, and continues to echo our times. Its words provide a point of view for living with recurring disaster.

Try to praise the mutilated world.
Remember June’s long days,
and wild strawberries, drops of rosé wine.
The nettles that methodically overgrow
the abandoned homesteads of exiles.
You must praise the mutilated world.
You watched the stylish yachts and ships;
one of them had a long trip ahead of it,
while salty oblivion awaited others.
You’ve seen the refugees going nowhere,
you’ve heard the executioners sing joyfully.
You should praise the mutilated world.
Remember the moments when we were together
in a white room and the curtain fluttered.
Return in thought to the concert where music flared.
You gathered acorns in the park in autumn
and leaves eddied over the earth’s scars.
Praise the mutilated world
and the gray feather a thrush lost,
and the gentle light that strays and vanishes
and returns.
(trans. Clare Cavanagh)

We’re looking forward to the poems you bring and read aloud on the subject of a disaster, response to a disaster, or that can provide comfort after a disaster. Bring one that has meaning for you, along with copies for the others, if you can. Looking for a poem to bring? Browse the poetry section at the library or check out Poetry Foundation or poets.org.

In the meantime, please blog with us here about poetry at onepagepoetrycircle.wordpress.com.

Fall 2018 Schedule
Tuesday, September 11, Poetry and Disaster
Tuesday, October 9, Cowboy Poetry
Tuesday, November 13, Poetry and Simplicity
Tuesday, December 11, Poetry and Wine

Place: St. Agnes Branch Library, 444 Amsterdam Ave., 3rd Fl.
Time: 5:30 – 6:30 pm

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.

 

 

The One Page Poetry Circle met on May 8th to discuss Poetry and Choice. We all agreed that Choice was a wonderful theme for the last program of the spring season. We enjoyed the variety of poems even though two were by Robert Frost and three were sonnets. The poems reflected the myriad choices we make every day.

Abigail opened our discussion by reading the ending of Mathilde Blind’s drama in miniature, The Russian Student’s Tale,” in which a woman tells a man of her past and he realizes his own limitations, as well as the failure of society, “Poor craven creature! What was I,/To sit in judgment on her life,/Who dared not make this child my wife,/And lift her up to love’s own sky?”

Roger read Robert Frost’s The Armful” in which the poet reflects on keeping the aspects of his life in balance, “I had to drop the armful in the road/And try to stack them in a better load.” The poem appeared in the New York City subway series Poetry In Motion.

Hazel read Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Sonnet XLIII,” “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways,” a celebration of the different ways the author chooses to love, ending with eternal love, “and, if God choose,/I shall but love thee better after death.”

Gail read Balance” by Alice B. Fogel, the Poet Laureate of New Hampshire, “Balance is everything, is the only/way to hold on./I’ve weighed the alternatives, the hold/as harbor: It isn’t safe/to let go.” This poem generated much discussion about its line-by-line meaning although we all know the importance of keeping ourselves in balance in this crazy world.

Ken read Federico Garcia Lorca’s Qasida of the Dark Doves,” an enigmatic poem that generates a surrealistic mood, “Through the laurel branches/I spied two dark doves./One was the sun,/the other the moon.”

Linda read Sonnet XLV” by Edna St. Vincent Millay, telling of a fraught relationship, “I know my mind and I have made my choice;/Not from your temper does my doom depend;/Love me or love me not, you have no voice/In this, which is my portion to the end.”

Cate read Wallace Stevens’s Thirteen ways of Looking at a Blackbird” and let us choose which one we liked best. AnnaLee chose V: “I do not know which to prefer,/The beauty of inflections/Or the beauty of innuendoes,/The blackbird whistling/Or just after.”

Susan read One Art” by Elizabeth Bishop in which the narrator chooses to learn how to lose things or perhaps the things choose to be lost, “The art of losing isn’t hard to master;/so many things seem filled with the intent/to be lost that their loss is no disaster.”

Carol read Allen Steble’s Choices,” which reminded her that we do have a choice in our perspective on life, “We all have a choice/to climb our highest mountain/or fall into our deepest hole/to drink from life’s fountain/or live life like a troubled soul.”

AnnaLee closed the circle with Robert Frost’s beautiful Choose Something Like a Star,” “So when at times the mob is swayed/To carry praise or blame too far,/We may choose something like a star/To stay our minds on and be staid.” This poem was set to music in Randall Thompson’s Frostiana,” a 1959 choral work.

Have a wonderful summer and we will see you in the fall. In the meantime, blog with us at onepagepoetrycircle.wordpress.com. Don’t be shy.

Fall 2018 Schedule (all Tuesdays)
September 11, Poetry and Disaster
Tuesday, October 9, Cowboy Poetry
Tuesday, November 13, Poetry and Simplicity
December 11, Poetry and Wine

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.

Welcome to the One Page Poetry Circle at St. Agnes Branch Library! where people gather to examine the works of established poets. While there’s no instructor and this is not a workshop for personal writing, once a month OPPC gives everyone a place to become teachers and learners to explore the form, content, language and meaning of poetry. Since the circle began, participants have selected and discussed 1066 poems and have read countless others in pursuit of poetry that speaks to them.

For the May 8 One Page Poetry Circle program, Poetry and Choices, we’ll examine how poets express choices, why they make them, and the consequences. One of the most famous poems on the subject, and perhaps the most abused, is Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” in which the narrator reaches a crossroads. He argues that the choice of which way to go is equal, yet reflects that merely choosing “has made all the difference.” A seemingly smaller choice, a decision of which trees to cut to improve the view, is made by the narrator of Tess Gallagher’s “Choices”:

I go to the mountain side
of the house to cut saplings,
and clear a view to snow
on the mountain. But when I look up,
saw in hand, I see a nest clutched in
the uppermost branches.
I don’t cut that one.
I don’t cut the others either.
Suddenly, in every tree,
an unseen nest
where a mountain
would be.

We’re looking forward to the poems you bring and read aloud on the subject of Choices. Whether a poem concerns a choice, or a poem chooses you, bring one that has meaning for you. And bring copies for the group, if you can. Can’t locate a poem you want to bring? Browse the poetry section at the library or check out Poetry Foundation or poets.org

In the meantime, please blog with us. Comment on the poems discussed here, or post a poem on the subject of Choices or another subject and tell us what it means to you. 

Check back in a month for our new fall 2018 series.

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. 

Date: Tuesday, May 8
Time: 5:30 – 6:30 pm
Place: St. Agnes Branch Library, 444 Amsterdam Ave.,
 3rd Fl.
Theme:
Poetry and Choices

 

Welcome to the One Page Poetry Circle at St. Agnes (OPPC) blog.

We met on April 17th to talk about Poetry and Timing. The poems people brought were diverse in their interpretation, prompting everyone to agree that every poem written would fit the subject.

Abigail opened the circle by reading “Shadow March” by Robert Louis Stevenson, in which a child in bed describes the terrors of the night with lines that create a unique timing by alternating meters and rhymes, “The shadow of the balusters, the shadow of the lamp,/The shadow of the child that goes to bed — /All the wicked shadows coming tramp, tramp, tramp,/With the black night overhead.”

Roger read “Time and Life” by Algernon Charles Swinburne with its contrasting views of time, “Girt about with shadow, blind and lame,/Ghosts of things that smite and thoughts that sicken/Hunt and hound thee down to death and shame,” followed by the thought that “rest is born of me for healing.”

Hazel read Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “Sunset” from Queen Mab, an intoxicating view of a particular time of day, “Whilst suns their mingling beamings darted/Through clouds of circumambient darkness,/And pearly battlements around/Looked o’er the immense of heaven.”

Gail read Robin Chapman’s “Time” in which the narrator’s 87 year-old neighbor rings the doorbell and proceeds to give an update on her life, “her car and driver’s license/are missing though she can drive perfectly/well, just memory problems, and her son/is coming this morning to take her up/to Sheboygan, where she was born.” The poem is also a wonderful example of Enjambment, which was last month’s theme.

Terry read Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 49” on the unreliability of love and the law of human nature, which begins, “Against that time, if ever that time come,/When I shall see thee frown on my defects,” and ends, “To leave poor me thou hast the strength of laws,/Since why to love I can allege no cause.”

Christiana read “The Listeners” by Walter de la Mare, with its enigmatic sense of bad timing, “But only a host of phantom listeners/That dwelt in the lone house then/Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight/To that voice from the world of men.”

Cate read Carolyn Kizer’s “Reunion” in which the narrator describes meeting a man she knew thirty years before, who had taught her, “inadvertently” that “The finest intellect can be a bore”…“I nod, I sip my wine, I praise your view,/Grateful, my dear, that I escaped from you.”

AnnaLee closed the circle with Edith Sitwell’s raucous “Sir Beelzebub” which begins “When/Sir/Beelzebub called for his syllabub in the hotel in Hell/Where Proserpine first fell” and ends “None of them come!” The poem was set to music by William Walton and recited by Barbara Hannigan.

Linda couldn’t attend the poetry circle but had chosen Langston Hughes’s “What Happens to a Dream Deferred”:

What happens to a dream deferred?
 Does it dry up
 Like a raisin in the sun?
 Or fester like a sore—
 And then run?
 Does it stink like rotten meat?
 Or crust and sugar over—
 like a syrupy sweet?
 Maybe it just sags
 like a heavy load.
 Or does it explode? 

We look forward to seeing you for Poetry and Choice, Tuesday May 8 at St. Agnes Branch Library in Manhattan. Choice will conclude the Spring Season of the One Page Poetry Circle. Look back here in the coming weeks for the Fall schedule and poetry themes.

In the meantime, please blog with us here at onepagepoetrycircle.wordpress.com.

See you soon —
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.