Emily Dickinson serves as earthling hostess for the season and our show today on March 1, for, as she says, “We like March. His shoes are purple.” Continue reading
BELLWETHERS: STUDENTS READ JAMES WRIGHT’S
“I HAVE WASTED MY LIFE”:
Good News for the Future Generations
THE POETRY SLOW DOWN with Professor Barbara Mossberg
February 22, 2015 Sunday Noon-1 pm radiomonterey.com
noun: bellwether; plural noun: bellwethers
1 the leading sheep of a flock, with a bell on its neck.
▪ an indicator or predictor of something.”
|synonyms:||harbinger, herald, indicator, predictor “a bellwether of change”|
What does James Wright mean when he ends his lyric lazy swing idling away an afternoon, “I have wasted my life?” With student eco-literati from the Clark Honors College, University of Oregon Emma Fager, Brian Amdur, Jordan Weems, Selena Blick, Verneet Brar, Kate Ballard, Virginia LaGrow, Hannah Lewman, Jake Bailey, eco critics Thom Gunn, Crunk aka Robert Bly, Bruce Henricksen, Dave Smith, poets Billy Collins and Mark Doty, and notes of Albert Einstein, William Blake, W.B. Yeats, and the words of James Wright himself (“what I actually meant”) and why and how they matter as we confer on this great mystery: how the way we read poetry is a harbinger of what is to come in our society, and through the lens of the people in whose hands our future lies, it’s good news. A good news show of the news we need, the news we heed, the news “without which men die miserably every day” (William Carlos Williams).
© Barbara Mossberg 2015
POETRY MAKES YOU SMARTER, WISER, BETTER AT BEING HUMAN, HEALTHIER, AND MORE HAPPY: SCIENCE SAYS, HISTORY SAYS. Medical research, neuroscience studies, cultural history– from these points of view, is not all poetry ecopoetry, the poetry that connects human imagination and conscience to how we relate to earth and all life it contains? From the very beginning of human consciousness, when we picked up a twig or piece of bark or rock to scrape, scratch, etch in stone or leaf or clay a message to each other, we express our love for earth and concern for it in one extricable note across time and culture. Continue reading
I and you have been thinking of a poetry superbowl, an all star-team, Emily Dickinson, wide receiver (“the spreading wide my narrow hands to gather paradise”), QB, is it Emerson, calling the plays for The Poet? Yes, Walt, you’re the Center . . . You have been writing me suggestions at our facebook Barbara Mossberg’s Continue reading
POETRY SLOW DOWN news
WAITING ROOM RX
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“miraculous beings come running to help” (Rumi)
Your A Team When It Matters Most
THE POETRY SLOW DOWN WITH PROFESSOR BARBARA MOSSBERG
CULTURAL HISTORY—AND MYSTERY
PRE-GAMING ROBERT BURNS DINNER, THE DYI GUIDE TO EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW AND DO FOR HAGGIS (GAG), AND WHAT IT HAS TO DO WITH THE MLK HOLIDAYAND MORE AS OUR NEW YEAR BEGINNING MORPHS INTO MID-WINTER AND POETRY IS EXPOSED LIKE SO MANY TREE TRUNKS SHORN OF LEAVES: WE SEE OUR MORAL STRUCTURE OF HUMAN SOCIETY. IN SUCH HOOPLA AS GLOBAL BIRTHDAY PARTY AND FEDERAL HOLIDAY WE EXPLORE A PHENOMENON: HOW OUTLIERS BECOME LITERAL INSIDERS—HOW THEY ARE TAKEN TO HEART, TAKEN TO MIND, AND CHANGE OUR WORLD. Through the lens of Martin Luther King, Jr., we see an odd couple as roots of civil and human rights leadership, the poets Robert Burns and Henry David Thoreau, both roosters in the barnyard, the lady’s man and no-body’s man, both poor and struggling for a place to live, a way to live, both unfashionably and eccentrically and passionately concerned equally with equality and the dignity of fellow man and species, human rights and nature, both dying young in their 30s and 40s, not living to see their words inspiring people to change the world—like Abraham Lincoln, like Martin Luther King, like John Muir, like Gandhi . . . WHEN WE CELEBRATE MLK, THE POWER OF A DREAM, WE FURL A FLAG OF THE POETRY THAT AROUSES COURAGE AND CONSCIENCE AND THE DREAM ITSELF—AND FACE MYSTERY: HOW CAN A SET OF WORDS HERE AND THERE MATTER SO MUCH? STILL? AROUND THE WORLD?
© Barbara Mossberg 2015
Produced by Sara Hughes. Podcast BarbaraMossberg.com
THE POETRY SLOW DOWN
as a New Year rolls in on sound waves of poetry:
I COULD DRINK A CASE OF YOU (AND STILL BE ON MY FEET): you, Life, are that light, that kind of light we celebrate today on our Poetry Slow Down . . . our show today “highlights” the lyric troubadours who express the meaning of love and light and dark in our lives in our greatest times of strife and struggle and trying to live up to the possibilities of life itself, Gordon Lightfoot, Paul Simon, Eva Kassady, Joni Mitchell, Grateful Dead, Turtles, Ewan MacColl (Peggy Seeger, Roberta Flack), Christina Aguilera—
- B! I’m wondering . . . Jacques Brel? Bob Dylan? Edith Piaf? And . . . yes, yes, yes . . . all to come in the coming year . . .