To the tunes of Chet Baker, Bob Marley, Billie Holiday, Joni Mitchell, and the Happy Wanderer, guest host Emily Dickinson helps us welcome March, along with e.e. cummings, William and Kim Stafford, Derek Walcott, Jorie Graham, Leigh Hunt, Elizabeth Bishop, Luis Garcia Montero, David Wright, Gerald Stern, Judith Viorst, Philip Larkin, Seneca, Rumi, Hafiz, Stephen Grellett, C. K. Williams, Eleanor Lerman, Mark Doty, Hilarie Jones, Marilyn Nelson, Kim Adonnizio, D. H. Lawrence, and yours truly . . . the news we need, the news we heed, the news without which men die miserably every day, according to our muse Dr. William Carlos Williams, physician poet healing himself, and us, with poetry: speaking of news–here was this in the newspaper, from a story about a woman who dies in a nursing home with agonized helpless witnesses trying to help
But . . .as a human being . . you know . . . is there anybody that’s willing to help this lady and not let her die?”
“Not at this time” the nurse answered. (AP, San Francisco Chronicle, March 5, 2013)
Okay I am! Me, here, miss! Count me in! Isn’t that what we are all saying?
Not at this time?—if not now, when? If not here, where? If not me, who?
Well, I’m paraphrasing here, Rabbi Hillel, a great Jewish scholar,
If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, then what am I? And if not now, when?”
So, we are thinking about what it is to be for myself, and for each other, on this very day of being alive: I want to get us started with the poem I wait all year to recite to recite, besides e.e. cummings’ sonnet i thank You God for most this amazing day, it’s Emily Dickinson welcoming in March: will you join me, Poetry Slow Down, let’s hear it for Dear March—come in!
Dear March — Come in —
How glad I am —
I hoped for you before —
Put down your Hat —
You must have walked —
How out of Breath you are —
Dear March, Come right up the stairs with me —
I have so much to tell —
That’s Emily Dickinson welcoming March with gusto, and that’s how I’m welcoming you, Poetry Slow Down, radiomonterey.com open your mind/think for yourself radio news, Come in! How glad I am! I’m Professor Barbara Mossberg, and we are produced by Mr. Zappa Johns, our own Mr. Z, who also makes possible our podcast where you can access our shows anytime and make the morning last 24/7, morning a state of mind at BarbaraMossberg.com. Poetry is a way to make the morning in our mind last, the freshness, the sense of a beginning, of possibility, mental gusto and jujitsu and moxie, and I have been musing, Poetry Slow Down, and this may come from another bout of MOHS surgery, that slicing and stitching and mending, rising from what my father called the one true sincere emotion, self pity, why is this happening to me, and getting up and through it through the meditative practice of poetry, listen hear, listen up, to Rumi!
Love has taken away my practices and filled me with poetry.
I tried to keep quietly repeating No strength but yours, but I couldn’t.
I had to clap and sing. I used to be respectable, chaste and stable, but who can stand in this strong wind and remember those things?/ . . . We are groggy, but let the guilt go. Feel the motions of tenderness around you. the buoyancy.
You see what I mean? And yes I am so guilty when I worry, Ghandi said it was a sin, is this worry shaming? Stay tuned for a show to address fear and take on life’s bounces with flounces of spirit, and thank you for joining me on this adventure that shows us down to enjoy the ride, the morning, the day, the whole life, the whole world, with your Dr. B, Professor Barbara Mossberg, for our Poetry Slow Down, radiomonterey.com.
© Barbara Mossberg 2016
THE POETRY SLOW DOWN
With Dr. Barbara Mossberg
Produced by Zappa Johns
March 6, 2016