I WAS MADE 4 SUNNY DAYS (Thank you, The Weepies)—Doesn’t this sound just like you? Of course you were made for sunny days—except Sophia who was made for rainy days. What better way to invoke the star in you than slowing down with poetry? Your inner glow? Your inner light. How to decide what to do with the gift of a sunny day, to rise to that occasion . . . .
So let’s slow down, at RadioMonterey.com, with Sara Hughes in our home studios on the Peninsula. I’m Professor Barbara Mossberg, with the M.O. no place safe from poetry; our show today takes its shape from road music, which has its finger on the pulse of our lives, the truth that we are on a journey, so that when we are literally going forth, traveling, en route, we are more than moving: we are at our primal purpose, doing that for which we have poetic feet, using our minds to go forward. As it happens, dear listeners, O Poetry Slow Down, I was going 74 mph when I heard this song, most of those miles at legal speed, but hardly slowed down. My niece Emily Rose Clarke, DJ of Oberlin College, prepared a travel CD for an excellent road trip from LA-Oregon, ranging from Ian and Sylvia, to Simon and Garfunkle’s Can’t Help But wonder where I’m bound, to Lady Pilot, Neko Case, and Fleetwood Mac Never Going Back Again. . . as I bounced to the sounds we’ll hear today, HEAR HEAR! I realized it is all about being en route, when you think about what you were actually doing when you were born—literally en route– and what you were born for . . . is it to end up like Tennyson’s Ulysses, I cannot rest from travel, I will drink life to the lees. Homer’s version is that Odysseus has spent the last twenty years en route, home to Ithaca, the baby Telemachus and young wife Penelope, ten of those years in a war with Troy, ten of these years trying to get back, consorting reluctantly, let the record be known, with goddesses, who say, like Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are, O Please don’t go, we love you so . . . and Max said No! like Odysseus, after seven years of divine kissy face—all right, he cried—it was all part of the being en route. . . And meanwhile, I heard from our listener pilot-philosopher-poet Charles Tripi, who sent us a poem by Albert Goldbarth, which happens to be about en route . . . realizing we had a show theme shaping up in late June’s skies like thunder clouds to the mountain west, I thanked Mr. Tripi and asked him to send us some of his en route poems, which he did, so our show got legs, poetic feet, as it were, and then I got an email from Spreck Rosekrans, head of Restore Hetch Hetchy.org, yes to that, and he is a scientist/engineer and gets to the point, nothing he writes is not to the point, so he writes me and says, Barbara did I see you on the trail to sentinel dome today? I hope you are well, Spreck, and I’ll keep you in suspense Poetry Slow Down about that, meanwhile, our show’s en route, and we’ll hear today Goldbarth’s “Secondary,” and Chuck Tripi, Walt Whitman, DH Lawrence, James Wright, Charles Wright, our new Poet Laureate, Librarian of Congress, a little e.e. cummings, Rilke, Mary Oliver, D.H. Lawrence, Hafiz, Mirabai, Darcie Dunnigan, Duncan Campbell Scott, Adam Sagajewski, Jessica Greenbaum, Alica Ostriker, Gayle Danley, Ingrid Wendt, Billy Collins (and with Alexandra van de Kamp), Shakespeare, Dante.
So let’s slooowwww down en route! In media res! Let’s find our way, as Dante did, with poets, our magic mirror, our “other me.” Let’s see ourselves rising to a sunny day, the day we were made for, the day we are making this moment.
THE POETRY SLOW DOWN
Dr. Barbara Mossberg
Produced by Sara Hughes
Guest Music Curator Emily Rose Clarke
© Barbara Mossberg 2014
© Barbara Mossberg 2014