What the Old Guys and Wise Guys mean to todayâ€™s young leaders and scholarsâ€”a snapshot onto our world, a wake-up call, and thatâ€™s waking up to smell the coffee and see with amazement the morning sun rising gloriously. To the tunes of Van Morrisonâ€™s â€œDwelling on the Threshold,â€ Mel Carterâ€™s â€œHold Me Thrill Me,â€ Joni Mitchellâ€™s â€œCircle Gameâ€ and Patti LaBelle (Lil Kim, Pink, Christine Aguilera) â€œLady Marmalade,â€ weâ€™ll hear Emerson and Einstein, Galway Kinnel, Emily Dickinson, James Wright, Wordsworth, John Muir, Lewis Thomas, T.S. Eliot, Thoreau, Bill Holm, D. H. Lawrence, Kabir, Chuck Tripi, Marie Curie, Milton Glaser, Pablo Neruda, e.e. cummings, Mary Oliver, Nancy Willard, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Jennifer Franklin, and others, and feature Gerald Durrell, eloquent and poignant voices our peeps on the threshold have taken to heart, and taken heart from.
To the music of â€œGravityâ€ by The Perfect Sphere, â€œDefying Gravity,â€ Wicked, â€œFly Me to the Moon,â€ Frank Sinatra, â€œYou Make Me Feel Brand New,â€ Stylistics, â€œLove (Is All There Is), Beatles, and â€œSkiddamarink,â€ we start with William Staffordâ€™s poem â€œYou, Reading This, Be Ready,â€ and the so-called â€œnewsâ€ from the world of physics that Einsteinâ€™s theory of relativity predicted gravitational waves. (I know you know what Iâ€™m going to say, that poets predicted this, talked all about it, and that is true, of course, beginning with our claiming Einstein as ours, a poet, his e=mc2 being all about the equals sign, the genius in seeing one thing connected to another: metaphor! Iâ€™m just sayin.)
A tree-mendous show that takes off from
Shakespeareâ€™s tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,/
Sermons in stones, and good in everything to reflect on the headline â€œnewsâ€ this week about trees from The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicateâ€”Discoveries From a Secret Worldâ€ by Peter Wohlleben, and what poetry has to do with it, including Ralph Waldo Emerson and John Muir, of course, and our ability and need for story to survive, when â€œsurvival is insufficientâ€ (Star Trek), reflecting on Daniel Quinnâ€™s Ishmael, Douglas Adamsâ€™Goodbye and Thanks for All the Fish, Herman Melvilleâ€™s Moby Dick, Thoreauâ€™s Walden, and Emily St. John Mandelâ€™s Station Eleven and NPR Radio Lab reports of research thereon.
With notes of Scott Russell Sandersâ€™ Divine Animal, Thomas Berryâ€™s Dream of the Earth, Bruno Bettelheimâ€™s The Uses of Enchantment, and Robert M. Sapolskyâ€™s A Primateâ€™s Memoir (A Neuroscientistâ€™s Unconventional Life Among the Baboons). On the PoetrySlowDown,radiomonterey.com, produced by Zappa Johns, podcast BarbaraMossberg.com, the news we need, the news we heed, the news â€œwithout which men die miserably every dayâ€ (William Carlos Williams). Weâ€™re talking about whatâ€™s at stake in the way we tell, and listen to, and hear, the story of our earth.
Weâ€™re here (hear hear!) slowing down (screech! You know you move too fast) for our Poetry Slow Down, and my dear and beloved listening community, gathered around our campfire here of radio waves, itâ€™s so delicious, what science has been bringing out recently, about rocks and trees and animals, weâ€™re all on the same team earth, realities that poets have been talking about in ways that save, and can save, our earth. By poets, I mean people who use language imaginatively, if not also agonizingly, to do justice to the gift of consciousness, to rise to the occasion of revelations about our earth, and our role, perhaps, to see it, express it, and ultimately, hopefully, to save it in the process. . . .
We hear about the role of poetry for Lincoln in The Yosemite Grant of 1864, John Muirâ€™s inner poet as he walks into the new preserved area in 1868, and writes to defend it to become a national park, and how his writings about the environment to transform our thinking about it, our â€œstory,â€ are recreated in Daniel Quinnâ€™s creation of Ishmael, a gorilla who is a teacher teaching us a new story about earth that can save us all . . . we hear Emersonâ€™s inspiring role inspiring Thoreau and Muir about this, who are all inspired by Shakespeare, and we hear about stories, imagined and recounted from life, about the way we can learn from earthâ€™s creations, if . . . we slow down, to listen, and make the morning last, and earth last . . . .(at least another 5 billion years). We pause to ponder the role of childrenâ€™s stories that give voices and wisdom to the natural world, including E.B. Whiteâ€™s poet spider Charlotte, who saves Wilburâ€™s life, and the saying, Whatâ€™s the story, morning glory, connecting it to our showâ€™s theme song by Simon and Garfunkle, a poet out for a morning walk asking of what he sees, â€œwhatcha knowin?â€â€”like Mary Oliver, slowing down to pay attention, a way to spend our â€œone wild and precious life.â€ And more . . . thank you for listening! Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or twitter at @barbaramossberg
THE POETRY SLOW DOWN
With Professor Barbara Mossberg
Produced by Zappa Johns
Â©Â Barbara Mossberg 2016