and other things I learn from my students: a celebration for graduation week, AND REFLECTIONS ON POETRY IN THE NEWSFEED AND ON THE SCREEN THIS WEEK—the news we need, the news we heed, the news “without which men die miserably every day.” We are all about living, living happily, every day. Towards that end . . .
Hello, Poetry Slow Down, my peoples, speaking of living happily every day, we’re all about making the morning last! Paul Simon says to slow down, we move too fast, we’ve got to make the morning last. What’s up with morning? We’ll hear from Thoreau, and Mary Oliver, and Tracy Smith, and video game and Eagles and Whitney Houston, and to start us off, a hymn by Eleanor Farjean, sung by Cat Stevens, and the great song from “Hair,” Good Morning Starshine.
The morning, which is the most memorable season of the day, is the awakening hour. Then there is least somnolence in us; and for an hour, at least, some part of us awakes which slumbers all the rest of the day and night… All memorable events, I should say, transpire in morning time and in a morning atmosphere. The Vedas say, “All intelligences awake with the morning.”–Thoreau, Walden
So here is a way to take Henry David Thoreau at his word when he says all intelligences arise in the morning. What is it about Thoreau that is held with such value by people who love nature and people—environmental activists and artists and educators, civil and human rights advocates, educators, leaders, all of whom see Walden-the-book, a combination new-age philosophical guidebook, nature journal, call to non-arms for civil disobedience and nonviolence. I’m here in Eugene, Oregon today, and our Producer Zappa Johns is on the Monterey Peninsula, and you are in Estes Park, New York City, Princeton, Westwood, Cambridge, Kansas City, Hawaii, London, Dublin, Iceland, Juno, Denton (Texas), and Phoenix, and . . . . let me know, send me a digital postcard from your own Walden Pond, whatever your Walden is . . . to me, your host, Professor Barbara Mossberg, Dr. B, old dog learning new tricks thanks to our producer Zappa J, and my students at the Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon (go Ducks!), who got me into this, to inaugurate a quiz show in the same format as the NPR Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me! So I showed up for the show knowing nothing more, and went into it cold. And what I learned heated me up–it was stellar evolution! Suns were created! So let’s hear about a video game making Thoreau’s world and wisdom come alive in a way that heats our brains to full capacity, poet musicians who save our world, a pond at a time, and great poetry standing time on its head and turning us inside out. And a reflection on the artofmanliness.com dictum about 20 essential poems, and Poetry Slow Down news blogs this week on the continuing story of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar on stages across the country, with notes of Hamlet (“the play’s the thing”) and Emily Dickinson on film (or not), speaking of being heated up slowing down with poetry!
© Barbara Mossberg 2017