Archives for posts with tag: One Page Poetry Circle

Our program for April will explore Poetry and Mystery. In the New York Times Opinion Pages, the poet David Biespiel wrote, “Poetic utterance shapes our perspective of the mysteries of the present moment and helps us imagine the next one.” Indeed, every poem is a mystery to be solved, the meaning to be unlocked and revealed.

Some poems are designed as puzzles. Riddles were popular since the earliest English poetry, like this translation from the Anglo-Saxon:

A moth ate words. It seemed to me
a strange occasion, when I inquired about that wonder,
that the worm swallowed the riddle of certain men,
a thief in the darkness, the glorious pronouncement
and its strong foundation. The stealing guest was not
one whit the wiser, for all those words he swallowed.

The answer is a bookworm, both an actual worm and a person who reads without understanding.

Mark Strand takes on what cannot be known in his prose poem “Mystery and Solitude in Topeka”:

Afternoon darkens into evening. A man falls deeper and deeper into the slow spiral of sleep, into the drift of it, the length of it, through what feels like mist, and comes at last to an open door through which he passes without knowing why, then again without knowing why goes to a room where he sits and waits while the room seems to close around him and the dark is darker than any he has known, and he feels something forming within him without being sure what it is, its hold on him growing, as if a story were about to unfold, in which two characters, Pleasure and Pain, commit the same crime, the one that is his, that he will confess to again and again, until it means nothing.

Please comment here on these poems or post a link to a poem that you like on the subject of mystery. Or, choose another poem and tell us what you like about it.  onepagepoetrycircle.wordpress.com.

Spring 2019 Season at
St. Agnes Branch Library, 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
444 Amsterdam Ave., NYC

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.

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The One Page Poetry Circle met on March 5th to feast on poetry and food.

Abigail opened the circle with “The Feed” by the Native American poet M. L. Smoker who describes the preparation for a feast, “Aunties carry the full pots and pans to the/picnic table, an uncle prays over our food in Assiniboine. We all want to/forget that we don’t understand this language, we spend lots of time/trying to forget in different ways.”

AnnaLee read Toi Derricotte’s “My dad & sardines” wherein the discovery of a tin of sardines brings back an ambiguous memory of a father who topped a saltine with mustard, a sardine, and an onion, “then he’d look up from his soiled/fingers with one eyebrow/raised, a rakish/grin that said–all/for me!–as if he was/getting away/with murder.”

Mae read a poem she had written about the short month of February that included the delights of Valentine’s Day and the Chinese New Year.

Carol read Pablo Neruda’s “Ode to Tomatoes” which shows the tomato as the “star of earth” that “displays/its convolutions,/its canals,/its remarkable amplitude/and abundance,/no pit,/no husk,/no leaves or thorns,/the tomato offers/its gift/of fiery color/and cool completeness.”

Daria read “This Is Just to Say” William Carlos Williams’s apology to his wife for eating the plums she was saving for breakfast, “Forgive me/they were delicious/so sweet/and so cold.”

Cate read “Eating Together,” a poem with an unexpected turn, by Li-Young Lee, given here in its entirety:

In the steamer is the trout
seasoned with slivers of ginger,
two springs of green onion, and sesame oil
shall eat it with rice for lunch,
brothers, sister, my mother who will
taste the sweetest meat of the head,
holding it between her fingers
deftly, the way my father did
weeks ago. Then he lay down
to sleep like a snow-covered road
winding through pines older than him,
without any travelers, and lonely for no one.

Susan read another William Carlos Williams poem about plums, “To a Poor Old Woman,” “Comforted/a solace of ripe plums/seeming to fill the air/They taste good to her.”

Christiana read Galway Kinnell’s serious and humorous account of eating “Oatmeal” with John Keats, “Keats said I was absolutely right to invite him:/due to its glutinous texture, gluey lumpishness, hint of slime,/and unusual willingness to disintegrate, oatmeal should not be eaten alone./He said that in his opinion, however, it is perfectly OK to eat/it with an imaginary companion, and that he himself had/enjoyed memorable porridges with Edmund Spenser and John Milton.”

Gail read a selection from “The Eve of St. Agnes” by John Keats where the hero is given a feast “Of candied apple, quince, and plum, and gourd;/With jellies soother than the creamy curd,/And lucent syrops, tinct with cinnamon;/Manna and dates, in argosy transferr’d /From Fez.”

Michelle read a poem about gluttony, a sin we all have been guilty of, that starts, “Where it all began was to eat too much.”

Hazel read “The Owl,” another poem with a change of mood, by Edward Thomas in which the narrator while feeling comfortable and sated, hears an owl’s cry, “Speaking for all who lay under the stars,/Soldiers and poor, unable to rejoice.”

Roger read Emily Dickinson’s Poem 53, which begins, “GOD gave a loaf to every bird,/But just a crumb to me” and ends, “I deem that I with but a crumb/Am sovereign of them all.

Kai couldn’t be with us, but thought of “Ode to an Artichoke” by Pablo Neruda, a whimsical tale of the vegetable from earth to plate where “we undress/this delight/we munch/the peaceful paste/of its green heart.”

We’re looking forward to seeing you at the April 2nd One Page Poetry Circle. Whether a poem concerns a mystery, solves a mystery, or is a mystery, 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 here at onepagepoetrycircle.wordpress.com.

Spring 2019 Season
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.

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! 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 Branch Library!
Date: Tuesday, February 20
Time: 5:30 – 6:30 pm
Place: St. Agnes Branch Library, 444 Amsterdam Ave.

Theme:
Poetry and Lies

Find a poem! Show up! Read a poem! Discuss a poem!
We’re back for the spring 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 1034 poems and have read countless others in pursuit of poetry that speaks to them.

Everyone lies. We do it to protect ourselves or to be kind to our friends, saying, “I’m busy next Saturday” or “You look terrific!” And what one calls a truism, can be shown by another to be false. Horace wrote, “Dulce et deorum est pro patria mori” [It is sweet and proper to die for one’s country], but Wilfred Owen, after witnessing a gas attack in The Great War, referred to the phrase as “the old Lie.” Plato called all poets liars as they are mired in illusion and create fiction.

Around 1592, Sir Walter Raleigh published a poem called “The Lie.” The poet publically accused the social elite and their organizations of lying or “giving them the lie.” But the authorship of this influential poem is not assured, so attributing it to Raleigh may be untrue.

Tell potentates, they live
Acting by others’ action;
Not loved unless they give,
Not strong but by a faction.
If potentates reply,
Give potentates the lie.

Tell zeal it wants devotion;
Tell love it is but lust;
Tell time it is but motion;
Tell flesh it is but dust.
And wish them not reply,
For thou must give the lie.

Dorothy Parker’s “Unfortunate Coincidence” concerns love and lying:

By the time you swear you’re his,
Shivering and sighing,
And he vows his passion is
Infinite, undying—
Lady, make a note of this:
One of you is lying.

We take a broad approach to our themes. Whether a poem is literally about lies, uses “lie” in its title, or even has a remote connection to the idea of lying, deception or untruth, feel free to bring a poem that has meaning for you. Having trouble locating a poem to bring? Look through a poetry book at the library or check out Poetry Foundation or poets.orgPlease 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.

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.

The One Page Poetry Circle at St. Agnes Branch Library in Manhattan met on November 14 to discuss Poetry and Power.

Abigail read “Power” by Audre Lorde, an account of the killing of a ten year-old by a policeman who was acquitted “by eleven white men who said they were satisfied/justice had been done/and one Black Woman who said/‘They convinced me.’”

Roger read Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “Ozymandias” with its beautiful evocation of the futility of power: “My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;/Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!/Nothing beside remains.”

Hazel read “The Tempest” by James T. Fields which begins with the description of a storm, the power of nature, “’Tis a fearful thing in winter/To be shattered by the blast,/And to hear the rattling trumpet/Thunder, ‘Cut away the mast!,’” and then explores other kinds of power.

Gail read Gabriel Preil’s “The Power of a Question” describing the conversation between two old men, “Even a drop of Mozart/does not sweeten/the aridity of the hour./You are a squirrel in confrontation/with an uncracked nut,” which comes to life through the power of time.

Elizabeth read “I Hear America Singing” by Walt Whitman and we were reminded of the power of the individuals in this country who make up the whole, “Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else,/The day what belongs to the day—at night the party of young fellows, robust, friendly,/Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.”

Christiana read Sir John Collings Squire’s “Ballade of the Poetic Life,” “Princess, inscribe beneath my name/‘He never begged, he never sighed,/He took his medicine as it came’—/For this the poets lived— and died.”

Ken read “The Power of Words” by Letitia Elizabeth Landon (L.E.L.), “Anger and fear are in them; grief and joy/Are on their sound; yet slight, impalpable:—/A word is but a breath of passing air.”

Terry read “Phenomenal Woman” by Maya Angelou, in which the poet celebrates the power of believing in herself, “I walk into a room/Just as cool as you please,/And to a man,/The fellows stand or/Fall on their knees./Then they swarm around me,/A hive of honey bees.”

AnnaLee read “Fall 1961” by Robert Lowell, “All autumn, the chafe and jar/of nuclear war;/we have talked our extinction to death.” Yet he finds relief from this dire situation in nature.

Linda could not attend the circle, but brought “The Return of Lucifer” by Louis Ginsberg, father of Allen Ginsberg and Linda’s former high school teacher. In this poem Lucifer looks at his projects on the earth, “‘I’ll stay,’ he chuckled, ‘things are going well;/For, under Heaven, Earth’s a better Hell.’”

Look for our next post about the upcoming program for December. And, please blog with us here at onepagepoetrycircle.wordpress.com.

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!

Date: Tuesday, April 18
Time: 5:30 – 6:30 pm
Place: St. Agnes Branch Library, 444 Amsterdam Ave.
3rd Fl.
Theme:
Poetry and Silence

Find a poem! Show up! Read a poem! Discuss a poem!

April’s theme is Poetry and Silence. Feel free to interpret the theme in a way that has meaning for you. We hope you will find a poem you haven’t read before or see an old friend in a new light. Can’t locate a poem you like? Look through a poetry book at the library or check out Poetry Foundation or poets.org.

Silence would seem inimical to poetry, but it is as important as words. Poems use silence, the cessation of words, to create meaning. “Silence” is the last word that Hamlet speaks (Shakespeare’s Hamlet 5.2). The moment contains irony in that the last thing Hamlet says means “nothing” but follows much mental and physical turmoil. Sadly, his voice will be silenced forever—or at least until we read the play again.

The potent poison quite o’ercrows my spirit.
I cannot live to hear the news from England.
But I do prophesy the election lights
On Fortinbras. He has my dying voice.
So tell him, with th’ occurrents, more and less,
Which have solicited. The rest is silence.

In Yvor Winters’ “Before Disaster,” the rhyming couplets tick-tock, lull, increase speed, and then halt, creating a silence where readers can reflect before moving on.

Evening traffic homeward burns,
Swift and even on the turns,
Drifting weight in triple rows,
Fixed relation and repose.
This one edges out and by,
Inch by inch with steady eye.
But should error be increased,
Mass and moment are released;
Matter loosens, flooding blind,
Levels driver to its kind….
Ranks of nations thus descend,
Watchful to a story end.
By a moment’s calm beguiled,
I have got a wife and child.

Simon and Garfunkel’s song, “The Sound of Silence” begins by evoking a mood:

Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

What other forms of silence have you found in poetry?

We’d love to blog with you here at onepagepoetrycircle.wordpress.com about Poetry and Silence or any other subject that pertains to poetry.

~Abigail Burnham Bloom and AnnaLee Wilson 

We met on March 7th to discuss Poetry and Anaphora, which is the repetition of initial words or phrases. AnnaLee reminded us that many poems also use epistrophe, the repetition of a final word or phrase, and symploce, the repetition of both initial and final words and phrases. Whew! We were delighted by the quality and variety of poems we discussed.

Abigail began by reading Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” which has all of the different forms of repetition, “Honour the charge they made!/Honour the Light Brigade,/Noble six hundred!”

Roger read from Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Bells,” which reveals a lifetime through the ringing of different bells, “Hear the sledges with the bells–/Silver bells!/What a world of merriment their melody foretells!” This poem has been beautifully set to music by Phil Ochs — click on his name and listen!

Hazel read “I Dream I’m the Death of Orpheus” by Adrienne Rich, a poem that pays tribute to the great 1950 film by Jean Cocteau, “I am a woman in the prime of life, with certain powers/and those powers severely limited/by authorities whose faces I rarely see.”

Gail read “The Delight Song of Tsoai-talee” by a Native American writer, N. Scott Momaday, “I stand in good relation to all that is beautiful/I stand in good relation to the daughter of Tsen-tainte/You see, I am alive, I am alive.”

Yasin read “On Living” by the exiled Turkish writer Hazim Hikmet, “Life’s no joke/you must live it in earnest/like a squirrel, for example,/expecting nothing outside of your life or beyond.”

Linda read two poems by Emily Dickinson, including the following in its entirety. The current exhibition of Dickinson at the Morgan Library takes its title from this poem:

I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – too?
Then there’s a pair of us!
Don’t tell! they’d advertise – you know!

How dreary – to be – Somebody!
How public – like a Frog –
To tell one’s name – the livelong June –
To an admiring Bog!

Terry read the frightening words of a fourteen year-old girl as written in “Hanging Fire” by Audre Lorde, “I have nothing to wear tomorrow/will I live long enough/to grow up/and momma’s in the bedroom/with the door closed.”

Mindy read the inspirational words of Maya Angelou in “Still I Rise,” Leaving behind nights of terror and fear/I rise/Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear/I rise/Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,/I am the dream and the hope of the slave./I rise/I rise/I rise.”

AnnaLee closed the circle by reading from “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T.S. Eliot, “Let us go then, you and I,/When the evening is spread out against the sky/Like a patient etherized upon a table./Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,/The muttering retreats…”

Elisabeth was not able to attend, but thought of “Tender Buttons” by Gertrude Stein, a prose poem: “A TIME TO EAT./A pleasant simple habitual and tyrannical and authorised and educated and resumed and articulate separation. This is not tardy.” It is hard to know what to say of it, but it is fascinating, and has the repetition of the word “and” like our poster for last month.

We look forward to seeing the works you select for Poetry and Silence and to discussing them with you on April 18the. 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 at onepagepoetrycircle.wordpress.com.

Spring 2017 Schedule
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.

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

shakespeare_and-3We’re back for the ninth season of the One Page Poetry Circle where people gather to examine the works of established poets. Since the circle started, participants have selected and discussed 963 poems and have read countless others in pursuit of poetry that speaks to them. (Bring a poem with you on March 7, and help us break through to 1000).

Anaphora, the theme for our next program, is the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginnings of successive lines of poetry that can create emphasis, suggest connections, or mount up meanings. The repetition generates a pattern that resonates with the listener, producing a musical quality, memorable and seductive.

We take a broad approach to our themes. Whether a poem is literally about the theme, uses the theme in its title, or has even a remote connection to the theme, feel free to interpret and bring a poem that has meaning for you. For the theme of anaphora you might go beyond the repetition of the initial words to enjoy the repetition of lines and refrains. Can’t locate a poem you want to bring? Look through a poetry book at the library or check out Poetry Foundation or poets.org.

One memorable example of anaphora occurs in John of Gaunt’s lines on England in Shakespeare’s Richard II, building up a sense of common heritage:

This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea (2.140-42)

In Mark Strand’s “From a Litany” the title gives the clue that the poem will be an invocation that gains strength through repetition. The word “From,” suggests this repetition may continue ringing beyond the poem’s last word. Here are the first few lines:

There is an open field I lie down in a hole I once dug and I praise the sky.
I praise the clouds that are like lungs of light.
I praise the owl that wants to inhabit me and the hawk that does not.
I praise the mouse’s fury, the wolf’s consideration.
I praise the dog that lives in the household of people and shall never be one of them.

One familiar anonymous proverb uses anaphora to show the connection between various things, a connection that can only be made in hindsight:

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the message was lost.
For want of a message the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

What are your thoughts about anaphora in poetry? You can blog with us now by using the little speech balloon under the headline of this post. Or return later to onepagepoetrycircle.wordpress.com.

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.

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

Time: 5:30 – 6:30 pm
Place: St. Agnes Branch Library, 444 Amsterdam Avenue (near 81st Street), 3rd Floor

~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.