We all enjoyed the nice turnout on February 20th for Poetry and Lies! Starting around the Circle…

Abigail read sections from Robert Browning’s “Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came” which begins, “My first thought was, he lied in every word,/That hoary cripple with malicious eye.” Despite the inauspicious thought that the directions are a lie, Childe Roland follows them through a nightmare landscape.

Roger read “All the World’s a Stage” from Shakespeare’s As You Like It, which ends: “Last scene of all,/That ends this strange eventful history,/Is second childishness and mere oblivion,/Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.” Roger commented that the poem is a protracted metaphor and metaphors may have truth in them, but they also have some exaggeration or lying.

Hazel read “Mary, I Believed thee True” by Thomas Moore, a more hopeful verse because although his beloved has proved false, the narrator believes in the possibility of true love, “For you, distracting woman, see/My peace is gone, my heart is broken./Fare thee well!”

Gail read Karin Gottshall’s “More Lies” which evokes a subtle melancholy and perhaps a wistful hope, “Sometimes I say I’m going to meet my sisters at the café—/even though I have no sister—just because it’s such/a beautiful thing to say.”

Linda read “Lies about Love” by D. H. Lawrence, which shows how love can change, “We are all liars, because/the truth of yesterday becomes a lie tomorrow,/whereas letters are fixed,/and we live by the letter of truth.”

Ken read “Where the Mind Is Without Fear” by Rabindranath Tagore, an idealistic poem of a world without lies, “Where words come out from the depth of truth/Where tireless striving stretches its arms toward perfection/Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way.”

Christiana read Maggie Smith’s “Good Bones” in which a mother lies to her children, “Life is short, though I keep this from my children./Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine/in a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways/I’ll keep from my children.”

Cate read Seamus Heaney’s “A Dog Was Crying Tonight in Wicklow Also” which tells a fable of a dog going to tell Chukwu the human reaction to death, “But death and human beings took second place/When he trotted off the path and started barking/At an other dog in broad daylight just barking/Back at him from the far bank of a river.”

Ann read Jeffrey Harrison’s “Our Other Sister” in which the narrator lies to his younger sister about having an older sister, “Our other sister/had already taken shape, and we could not/call her back from her life far away/or tell her how badly we missed her.”

Carol brought “A Place Called Lie Lie Land” by Bob B on a subject which is much in all of our minds, “Once there was a nation, which/Boasted of its wealth and size./In that nation lies became truth,/And truth became known as lies.”

AnnaLee rounded up the Circle with Susan Dwyer’s “The Lies of Sleeping Dogs: A Fable,” read in memory of her dog, Zoe, “That they’re sleeping is the first lie:/but with the same mechanism by which/they sense your fear, you already know/that they’re pretending, feigning sleep/because they too are afraid.”

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Spring 2018 Schedule
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.

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