THE POETRY SLOW DOWN
as a New Year rolls in on sound waves of poetry:
I COULD DRINK A CASE OF YOU (AND STILL BE ON MY FEET): you, Life, are that light, that kind of light we celebrate today on our Poetry Slow Down . . . our show today “highlights” the lyric troubadours who express the meaning of love and light and dark in our lives in our greatest times of strife and struggle and trying to live up to the possibilities of life itself, Gordon Lightfoot, Paul Simon, Eva Kassady, Joni Mitchell, Grateful Dead, Turtles, Ewan MacColl (Peggy Seeger, Roberta Flack), Christina Aguilera—
- B! I’m wondering . . . Jacques Brel? Bob Dylan? Edith Piaf? And . . . yes, yes, yes . . . all to come in the coming year . . .
A soundtrack for poets who capture your incandescence, your bubbliness, your solace, your sweetness . . . including e.e. cummings, Pablo Neruda, Rumi, Hafiz, Emily Dickinson, Shakespeare, and Edmund Rostand (Cyrano) and Sir Peter Shaffer (Lettice), Thoreau, poets so passionate that it transcends sentimentality into the rare realms of helpless sincerity, shameless earnestness, where joy is not unsophisticated claptrap and naïve namby shambyness but hard-won and as natural and unstoppable as the wellspring . . . and love—when love is not all there is, but love is there, after all . . . .after all is said and done–
And then, when, after all, it is not all sweetness and light, we are going to take this theory of poetry’s effervescence to the test: seriously, does poetry matter? Can poetry matter in life and death situations? In times of worry and stress and sorrow? When we don’t know what to think or do? When someone we love suffers? As the year ends, I will reflect with you on how I took poetry out for a test drive, when all was said and done, when poetry made a difference to me, made it possible to even contemplate the New Year ahead, to take that sip, to drink a case of life, and still be on one’s feet.
© Barbara Mossberg 2014
Livestreamed radiomonterey.com PST Noon-1 pm, podcast BarbaraMossberg.com
THE POETRY SLOW DOWN
With Professor Barbara Mossberg
Produced by Sara Hughes
DECEMBER 28, 2014