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Anne Klaeysen: Pandemic Poetry

By April 19, 2020September 25th, 2020No Comments

In his poem, “The Waste Land,” T.S.Eliot called April “the cruelest month.” As a pandemic wreaks havoc upon our lives, April this year indeed feels very cruel. But it is also National Poetry Month, launched by the Academy of American Poets in April 1996 to remind the public that poets have an integral role to play in our culture – and that poetry matters. More and more people are turning to poetry now because it can bring solace and strength. In the platform address, Anne shared poems that she has found meaningful. View her list of selections here.

Anne Klaeysen is Leader Emerita of the New York Society for Ethical Culture, where she served as Leader from 2008 until her retirement in 2019. She holds a Doctor of Ministry degree in pastoral counseling from Hebrew Union College, as well as Masters degrees in German from the State University of NY at Albany and business administration from New York University (NYU). Dr. Klaeysen is the Ethical Humanist Religious Life Adviser at Columbia University and Humanist Chaplain at NYU. She is also co-dean of Center for Education of the American Humanist Association and serves on the board of Sunday Assembly NYC. Dr. Klaeysen participates in several interfaith social justice coalitions.

NOTE: Due to the coronavirus epidemic, in-person events at Ethical NYC have been suspended. This Sunday Platform will be presented online via Zoom. Visit to see all our upcoming Zoom programming.

Sunday Platform is our most important and long-standing community event. These gatherings educate, stimulate personal growth, inspire reflection and action, and strengthen our community. Sunday meetings usually begin with music, followed by greetings and a talk given by a Society Leader, member, or guest.  Platforms cover a variety of topics that reflect current events, pressing social issues, and Ethical Culture philosophy. A collection basket is passed and money is shared between the Society and a charity selected for that day.  While contributions are always appreciated, Sunday meetings are free and open to the public.  Each Sunday meeting is followed by a luncheon and social hour.

To view previous Sunday Platform addresses and interviews, visit the Ethical NYC YouTube channel.

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