The music says it all:
Roberta Flack, Killing me softly with his song
Wizard of Oz, Courage (Lion’s Song)
Pinocchio—Jiminy Cricket “When You Wish Upon a Star”
Footloose, “Almost Paradise”
Elvis, “It’s Now or Never”
Sound of Music, Climb Every Mountain
CYRANO (opening his eyes, recognizing her, and smiling as he speaks: the actor must try to convey the multiple meanings of the word panache, a feather, the plume in his hat, display, swagger, attack, or just spirit.):
That’s Nikki Giovanni, her Kidnap poem, kidnapping you today for our annual Thanksgiving PoetrySlowDown ANK OU ERY UCH, or, LET’S GIVE THANKS FOR THE POEM I’M WRITING (AND THESE WORDS I EAT) and this is your host Professor Barbara Mossberg, as we hear (hear! hear!)
I reflect that kind is three quarters kin. Our bonds, the actual equation of us, the Mayan saying, you are my other me. Emily Dickinson’s I’m Nobody draws us in to this secret shared identity. We are in this together. We ARE this together. We are the metaphor, that impossibility of connection, the poet’s vision. Dickinson is providing me spiritual leadership during this time of a French which is a world crisis. Our poetry organizations, you, Poetry Slow Down listeners, provide me solace of community as we reel from the revelation that no place is safe. But we have to live as if it is still our beloved world.
A show about memory and the spirit and spirits of what we treasure and hold precious when we slow down, and the role of Muse, of poetry, in bringing life to life. Music is “Memory,” from Cats, Got a Lotta Living To Do, Elvis Presley, I Remember You, Frank Ifield, That One Day, That Summer, Nat King Cole.
(with thanks to Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space, and Kenneth Helphand, Defiant Gardens, Thoreau, Walden, Edmund Rostand, Chanticler, Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, and a few maverick rooster-loving emperors and poets here and there)
I TOLD YOU IT WOULD BE ALL RIGHT–
(Title of painting by William Park, Waiting Room, Department of Orthopedics, Kaiser Permanente Westside Center, Portland, Oregon),
I WHO HAVE DIED AM ALIVE AGAIN TODAY (e.e. cummings, “i thank You God for most this amazing”)
“there is a crack, a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in”—Leonard Cohen covering Groucho Marx (“blessed are the cracked, for they shall let in the light”) covering Rumi (“the wound is the place where the light enters you”)