A JUICY SHOW: POETS DEFINE AND PRACTICE THE JUICE, PROVIDING ANSWERS FOR WHEN WE EACH ARE POSED THIS QUESTION IN THE HEADLINE NEWS—ASKED OF OUR PRESIDENT, NO LESS, DO YOU HAVE THE JUICE? Just what is meant by this metaphor? We’re going to hear how poets define the juice from Gerald Manley Hopkins to Shakespeare to Pablo Neruda to Gerald Stern to Winston Churchill, with mojo moxie displayed in poems from Emily Dickinson, Grace Paley, Walt Whitman, Robert Herrick, defiance energy from William Ernest Henley, Whitman, Albert Goldfarth, C.K. Williams, Timothy Seibles, the sense of fighting exuberant spirit of Rumi, Hafitz, Kabir, our most senior poets weighing in and showing us juice by the quart, Ruth Stone, Stanley Kunitz, Wendell Berry, Thomas Merton, W. B. Yeats; we’ll hear Mark Strand’s juice unnerving a librarian; we’ll see besieged and beleaguered leaders showing ways of juice including M. L. King, Jr., and we’ll hear Nikki Giovanni—the ultimate juice machine—and Thoreau message of the juice that may always be there no matter how dried up it looks, and even your own Professor B, showing some juice chops as gravity weighs her down. How indeed do we reply when we are asked, do you have the juice? Our show will show just what the juice is about and how poets are the Go To consultants when reporters come to our press conference.We begin with “Spring” by Gerard Manley Hopkins, asking about all this juice and joy, which we thought of when ABC’s Jonathan Karl asked President Obama at the White House press conference, Mr. President–he asked a poetry question–100 days have gone by in the second term of your presidency, and do you still have the juice to influence Congress? The juice question is on the airwaves, and since this is a metaphor, what can our poets tell us about juice and juiciness, and if you, dear listener, wonder if YOU still have the juice, or if you are asked this by your wife or son or employee or board chair, and you want to know, where indeed can I find such juice in me, our Poetry Slow Down is on the case, we will look in our pantry of poems, our garden of glorious lyric fruits of juicy wisdom-and this poetry is gluten free! Reading these poems is a tonic for Spring, so slow down and enjoy the fruits of your listening. It was a joy to engage with these poets and I’d love to hear from you, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
© Barbara Mossberg 2013