129th Virtual Poetry Circle

Welcome to the 129th Virtual Poetry Circle!

Remember, this is just for fun and is not meant to be stressful.

Keep in mind what Molly Peacock’s books suggested. Look at a line, a stanza, sentences, and images; describe what you like or don’t like; and offer an opinion. If you missed my review of her book, check it out here.

Also, sign up for the 2011 Fearless Poetry Reading Challenge because its simple; you only need to read 1 book of poetry. Please contribute to the growing list of 2011 Indie Lit Award Poetry Suggestions (please nominate 2011 Poetry), visit the stops on the National Poetry Month Blog Tour from April.

Skating in Harlem, Christmas Day by Cynthia Zarin

To Mary Jo Salter

Beyond the ice-bound stones and bucking trees,
past bewildered Mary, the Meer in snow,
two skating rinks and two black crooked paths

are a battered pair of reading glasses
scratched by the skater’s multiplying math.
Beset, I play this game of tic-tac-toe.

Divide, subtract. Who can tell if love surpasses?
Two naughts we’ve learned make one astonished 0–
a hectic night of goats and compasses.

Folly tells the truth by what it’s not–
one X equals a fall I’d not forgo.
Are ice and fire the integers we’ve got?

Skating backwards tells another story–
the risky star above the freezing town,
a way to walk on water and not drown.

What do you think?


  1. I really like the last stanza, but the rest of the poem confuses me.

  2. Just stopping by to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and all the best in the New Year Serena!

  3. Beth Hoffman says

    Ahhhh … the visuals this poem evoked were simply wonderful. Thank you for sharing it, Serena.

    Holiday blessings to you and yours!

  4. I can’t say I understand much of that poem! But I also wanted to stop by and say have a wonderful Christmas and hope your Christmas dinner is fabulous!

  5. Serena…Wanted to stop by to wish you a wonderful Holiday; hope it means special time with family and friends.