All hands on deck! Ahoy! Avast ye, mates! This is your captain Professor Barbara Mossberg of our Poetry Slow Down, a radio show for when nights are long and you’re lying awake, pondering your fate. Fate. How we meet our fate. How we know our fate. How we create or co-create our fate. We will look at this question through the eyes of the poets, who think about these things. We’re all thinking about our fates these days, yours and mine. I suppose that this is what defines a poet. The moment we start thinking about things, not stopping the flow, but slowing down in a sense, heating up our neural duodulas, and wondering. Us being human, at our most human. Poetry captures this. So we will begin with one of the greatest poet minds of the United States, who wrote a book we all know but few have read, even those who were assigned it as students, you know what I’m talking about, Moby Dick, busted! And one of our most distinguished literary critics, award-winning Dr. Susan Gubar, whose books you have read and know, including Memoir of a Debulked Woman(W.W. Norton).
What would John Muir think of the current Executive Director of the Sierra Club affixing himself to a White House gate and being arrested? He would stand and cheer, along with the trees, as Henry David Thoreau’s model inspires civil disobedience art and science, practice and theory. We’ll think about Thoreau’s spirit in Muir’s activism, how David Brower carries the baton (his lyric “Credo” and his famous activism expressing Muir’s legacy), and Michael Brune’s leadership and what poetry has to do with it, and voices I love, on love for a place, who could take that love to the bank, the river bank, and keep it wild . . . we’ll slow it down, our hurtling meteoric days, and listen to the river’s voice, listen to each other listening to the river’s voice . . . . And we will remember: “The grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never dried all at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal dawn and gloaning, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls.”–John Muir, who also said about the lives we love on this earth: “No right way is easy in this rough world. Continue reading
Welcome to our Poetry Slow Down, KRXA 540AM, from the Think for Yourself Radio Team, Hal Ginsberg and Producer Sara Hughes, I’m your host Professor Barbara Mossberg, and I love our radio community as we listen on air to poetry, brain waves! slowing down in our hurtling and stressed lives for a way of thinking and speaking about our lives from time immemorial, the news we need, Dr. William Carlos Williams says, difficult and despised though poetry may be, without which men die miserably every day . . . on this topic of love, it’s almost Valentine’s Day, and this is a time traditionally in which we let the people we love know how much we love them, in poetry. We consider poetry etched in clay from a twig from thousands of years ago, a Sanskrit love poem from 2025 BC. This word love, a way of connecting so powerfully something beyond ourselves, that says someone is part of us, inextricably part of our essence, who we are. . . love makes you something larger and more complex and vulnerable. I thought about life’s plan for us—so tricky and ingenious: for example, if we have a baby, then, because we love this baby and want everything for this baby, and now this baby’s out in the world–now we have to care about and be responsible for this whole world where our baby is going to have to live—for its health and endurance . . . how smart of the universe . . . to get us to care about IT–the whole shebang and shenanigans—air, water, ground—lion and fly–so today, we’re going to explore what we humans love, and how it is expressed in poetry . . . all love poems!
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 The Poetry Slow Down and we’ll hear them! You are such a radio community team of minds! Write me there or tell me your ideas for poet positions for our team because you know what, the season is never over for poetry. Continue reading