POETRY MAKES YOU SMARTER, WISER, BETTER AT BEING HUMAN, HEALTHIER, AND MORE HAPPY: SCIENCE SAYS, HISTORY SAYS. Medical research, neuroscience studies, cultural history– from these points of view, is not all poetry ecopoetry, the poetry that connects human imagination and conscience to how we relate to earth and all life it contains? From the very beginning of human consciousness, when we picked up a twig or piece of bark or rock to scrape, scratch, etch in stone or leaf or clay a message to each other, we express our love for earth and concern for it in one extricable note across time and culture.
Gilgamesh in 2700 BC Iraq on the fate of the cedar forests in Lebanon—“uprooted all the way to Euphrates”—the Bible (“splendor in the grass”)—Rumi in Turkey in the 1200s, Milton’s Paradise Lost, Shakespeare, up through our present day, reflect on how we treat the earth, how we notice it in our own comings and goings as we strive to figure out this life of ours, and how we are supposed to live, and to what purpose. Poetry has always been there for us, this Jiminy Cricket in our conscience and consciousness.
Well our show today, Poetry Slow Down, takes up this question of the power of words to bring us together in an eco-conscious way including a little home-town brouhaha caused by truly yours innocently, or not, who can say, what lurks in the hearts of men, a little dust up, stirring the fires, caused by a few words of seeming poetry . . . and the decision of what is to be kept, what is to be preserved, and protected, on this earth of ours? We who have the power . . .we humans? This is a question we have asked for a very long time!
We’ll hear from Gilgamesh and Wordsworth, John Muir and Rumi, Thoreau, Walt Whitman, Gerard Manley Hopkins and Theodore Roetkhe, Mary Oliver, D.H. Lawrence, Galway Kinnell, on whales and fish and moose, and me on ants and squirrels, and e.e. cummings, and Emily Dickinson . . . And music by the Bee Gees, Bob Dylan, Jiminy Cricket, Bob Marley, with a message to you-ou-ou!
Radiomonterey.com, Sunday Noon-1 pm, podcast BarbaraMossberg.com
THE POETRY SLOW DOWN
With Professor Dr. Barbara Mossberg
Produced by Sara Hughes
February 8, 2015
© Barbara Mossberg 2015