Archives for posts with tag: Howard Nemerov

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

Windows are a frequent form of metaphor. Eyes, the windows of the soul, look out onto the world. A great poem should change our view slightly, letting us see the world in a different manner than we usually do. In the first verse of his poem, “The Windows,” George Herbert depicts man as a window through which God makes himself known,

Lord, how can man preach thy eternal word?
    He is a brittle crazy glass;
Yet in thy temple thou dost him afford
    This glorious and transcendent place,
    To be a window, through thy grace. 

In Howard Nemerov’s “Storm Windows,” the narrator gains a glimpse of lucidity through the lens of rainwater on a storm window lying in the grass:

People are putting up storm windows now,
Or were, this morning, until the heavy rain
Drove them indoors. So, coming home at noon,
I saw storm windows lying on the ground,
Frame-full of rain; through the water and glass
I saw the crushed grass, how it seemed to stream
Away in lines like seaweed on the tide
Or blades of wheat leaning under the wind.
The ripple and splash of rain on the blurred glass
Seemed that it briefly said, as I walked by,
Something I should have liked to say to you,
Something … the dry grass bent under the pane
Brimful of bouncing water … something of
A swaying clarity which blindly echoes
This lonely afternoon of memories
And missed desires, while the wintry rain
(Unspeakable, the distance in the mind!)
Runs on the standing windows and away.

Why has the poet used parens in the middle of his closing thought? 

Please blog with us at onepagepoetrycircle.wordpress.com.

Spring 2018 Schedule
February 20: Poetry and Lies
March 6: Poetry and Enjambment
April 17: Poetry and Timing
May 8: Poetry and Choices

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.

Advertisements

Come to St. Agnes on Tuesday, October 4, 2016 with A Poem for Your Pocket.

pocketpoem_1004rHave you ever tucked a poem into your pocket or purse? Was it a poem with special meaning for you, or a poem you wanted to show to a friend, one you wanted to memorize, or perhaps a poem you didn’t completely understand and wanted to read again later? If not, don’t worry – choose a poem you would like to find in your pocket, that surprised you, or that you would like to share.

AnnaLee carried “The Span of Life” by Robert Frost around with her:

The old dog barks backwards without getting up.
I can remember when he was a pup.

She still loves how much Frost packed into two simple lines and that she can read the poem from a slip of paper, or pull it from a pocket in her mind.

Abigail once put “Dying Speech of an Old Philosopher,” by Walter Savage Landor in her pocket hoping to embrace its peaceful and accepting philosophy:

I strove with none, for none was worth my strife:
Nature I loved, and, next to Nature, Art:
I warm’d both hands before the fire of Life;
It sinks; and I am ready to depart.

But she found life more complicated than that. Indeed, pockets themselves can have a complicated nature as explored by Howard Nemerov in

“Pockets”: 
Are generally over or around 
Erogenous zones, they seem to dive
In the direction of those

Dark places, and indeed
It is their nature to be dark
Themselves, keeping a kind

Of thieves’ kitchen for the things
Sequestered from the world
For long or little while,

The keys, the handkerchiefs,
The sad and vagrant little coins
That are really only passing through.

For all they locate close to lust,
No pocket ever sees another;
There is in fact a certain sadness

To pockets, going in their lonesome ways
And snuffling up their sifting storms
Of dust, tobacco bits and lint.

A pocket with a hole in it
Drops out; from shame, is that, or pride?
What is a pocket but a hole? 

When we selected this topic we didn’t know that the Office of the Mayor of New York City initiated Poem in Your Pocket Day in 2002, which has been extended to all of the United States and Canada. We can celebrate this day again on April 24, 2017, the official Poem in Your Pocket Day.

We look forward to seeing the poems you select for Your Pocket and to discussing them with you on October 4. In the meantime, if you have a comment about any of the poems posted here, or pocket poems in general, please click the speech balloon symbol below our title at the top of the blog.

Bring a poem of a known poet. Bring a friend. Widen the circle! And blog with us at onepagepoetrycircle.wordpress.com. Without your support the library may find other uses for the spacious room they’ve given us.

Date: Tuesday, October 4
Theme: A Poem for Your Pocket
Time: 5:30 – 6:30 pm
Place: St. Agnes Branch Library, 444 Amsterdam Avenue, 3rd Floor

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 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.