Archives for posts with tag: Rabindranath Tagore

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.


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.