Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing.
And gave it up. And took my old body
and went out into the morning,
and sang.—Mary Oliver (from Swan)
Mary Oliver knows worry. Shakespeare knows worry. You know worry. I know worry. It’s what we’re made of, what distinguishes us from trees or chipmunks or glorious elk or owls or stars or salamanders. We’re worriers. Own it. But we’re also problem solvers, so we try to talk ourselves out of things, through things, to come up with a salve, some sort of savvy solace, something to rouse us ever onward. We need this: because hear in my morning inbox, Newsmax: 5 signs you will get cancer. Your last chance for . . . Don’t miss out on . . . Beware . . . Alert! Barbara did you know that . . .always adding to the day’s To Do list, worry about this, stress here and now! But hear come our poets, our own deus ex machina, to save the day, seize it, lift and heft and hoist and heave our worry-frayed spirits into resilience. And so we slow down, hold on, hear it (hear hear!) for our POETRY SLOW DOWN, radiomonterey.com, magic4life radio, produced by Zappa Johns, with your host Professor Barbara Mossberg, on the ways poets have our ears and backs, to wit:
LET’S HEAR IT FOR WORRY– Worry Beads As Poets Have A Go At It– Earnest and Witty Poems Reason With Us, Guilt Us–Joyous Bogus Worry Work to Shame Us, and Rally Us, and Forgive us–“Can I Talk You Out of Your Worries,” I once said, and now, would never: worries are prayers, our skin in the game, our respect for our “one wild and precious life,” telegrams to say how much we want to live, avatars of optimism.
Please join us as Professor Mossberg reflects on and engages with poems about worry by Mary Oliver, Wendell Berry, William Carlos Williams (happy birthday), Billy Collins, William Stafford, Judith Viorst, Jane Hirshfield, Jane Kenyon, Sandra Gilbert, Rumi, Naomi Shihab Nye, with notes of Thoreau, Churchill, Emerson, Emily Dickinson, Anne Tyler, Gandhi, the Bard, and T.S. Eliot, and shares some of her own shamelessly joyous bogus worry work including
The Ridiculous Cheerfulness of a Mouse
–“the relentless cheerfulness of that idiot optimist mouse”
Mickey Mouse in the words of the British press–, posted this week on the on line Tupelo Press 30-30 Project (with 6 other poet troopers)
With worry-filled music by Jimmy Cliff, Bob Marley, Michael Jackson, Jaques Brel, Kingston Trio, Lion King, and We Five.
THE POETRY SLOW DOWN
Professor Barbara Mossberg
Produced by Zappa Johns
September 27, 2015
© Barbara Mossberg 2015