Poetry&Things Past—OPPC in Darien


On Wednesday, July 1, at 7 p.m., the One Page Poetry Circle at the Darien Library will meet for the first time. In keeping with the library’s Adult Summer Reading theme, The Good Old Summertime”, our first circle will draw on and launch from the theme “Poetry and the Past”. All are invited to come and bring one page of published poetry as well as curiosity, enthusiasm, and questions about what the OPPC is and might become.

After a hiatus of more than a year, I am delighted to begin again in a new location what often brought fun and regularly surprise to the OPPC that the NYPL allowed me to launch in 2007 at two branches on the Upper West Side. For nine months, a group of diverse readers gathered with the common desire to read and to listen to poetry read aloud— a single page by each person, sometimes with commentary, sometimes not. Together we read assortments of poems touching in some way on topics that included—Food, Heat, Escape, Water, Noise, Prisons, Distance, and Paper.

Over the months as I walked to our meeting, I came to know that the one thing the evening would surely deliver was the pleasure of verse read aloud and enjoyed with others. How it would come, in what guise, in what selection by another in the group or response of an individual to another’s reading—the shape and texture of the pleasure were different each time. Choosing a poem, showing up, reading, listening seem a small admission cost for the delightful payback of poetry.

I will start and end the evening with a poem, and each person will be invited to read their selection. Sometimes we listen to the poems twice, sometimes we comment or ask questions. Each month’s Circle Lines (handed out at the beginning of the evening) will expand on aspects of the theme, suggest a topic or two in poetics, and provide a place for you to jot notes on poems you hear read.

As you think about a poem you might bring for Poetry & the Past, consider one that meant something to you in the past or that evokes a strong memory. Consider poems about memory and memorization.

You may wish to start with any of these articles about aspects of poetry and memory.

“Does Memory Have a Future?”

“Got Poetry?”

“Committed to Memory”

I look forward to seeing you on July 1 and to a good launch for the OPPC in Darien.