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. Meanwhile today pregaming, we need an offensive and defensive cohort for the “line-peoples,” and we may even bring in ringer football player/poets (“sting like a bee”). If we can see poetry illuminated by football, an activity that absorbs our rapt attention, enlivened by color, commentary, play by play, what is the ball, and what is victory? Or is the game the poem itself, the poet both offense and defense, trying to create meaning against the forces of conventional thought and all the pressures trying to stop one’s flow of being? Is carrying the ball the metaphor, the velocity of meaning, the urgency of something to say to our world? And what do we eat, when we write or read a poem? For movies, we know: it’s popcorn and in my case, Junior Mints, for tailgate parties, is it barbeque? Well, we’re going to have recipes for a poetry tailgate, poets on food to nourish our spirits . . . haggis if you like, or Pablo Nerudian fried potatoes, or Dickinson gingerbread, or Eliot toast and tea, or Ferglingetti penny candy, or recipe for happiness, or Baudelarian wine, or Williams’ plums or Elizabeth Alexander butter . . .
We’ll talk about poets for Pre-Game and Post-Game, and of course a Referee (Dante?) and Coach (a certain poetically-named team’s NFL coach was heard quoting Shakespeare today).
Thank you for listening, and please write me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to Barbara Mossberg’s Poetry Slow Down on facebook; and please see my blogs on Huffington Post, a three-part series on the Poetry Superbowl Roster. Next week: fierce ways to become one with history, via poetry, in honor of Gertrude Stein’s birthday . . .
© Barbara Mossberg 2013