Irish Proverb: Cheshire Cat Magnetic Belts, Persian New Year, Pre-Gaming Ides of March, and St. Patrick’s Day, and Other News in and of and by Poetry
I love this Irish proverb, continuous cheerfulness is a sign of wisdom, because I won’t lie to you, I confess I have been associated with this trait, in fact, this trait is my practice and devotion, and this trait is—well, for example, Mickey Mouse, that indefatigable spirit of being undaunted, is referred to by British cultural critics, that relentlessly cheerful, idiot optimist mouse. Yeah. There, I think that says it. So this week is a great day for the Irish, Happy St. Patrick’s Day, we’ll be hearing words of poetry by William Butler Yeats and James Joyce and Seamus Heaney, and Irish blessings, and our Persian communities are celebrating Persian New Year, it’s Spring!—we did it—we got through the winters of our discontents– I think that sums up what it is about Rumi and Hafiz that is so lovable—Rumi is the best selling author in the United States—this man who wrote in the 1200s B.C., by which you know I mean Before Coffee! And Hafiz, in the 1300’s B.C.— AND Poetry Slow Down another good news to make us cheerful and wise, we will be wisely negotiating the Ides of March! Beware, beware, Julius Caesar was told, but did he listen, no . . . in fact he was snarky, to the old lady warning him—didn’t he readBeauty and the Beast and realize that gnarly old ladies have the wisdom and the power? –Heed their advice! But, he taunted her, Ides of March Snides of March, nah nah nah nah nah nah—only to receive about 48 or 148 stab wounds on the Senate steps a little later . . . so don’t count your Ides til they’re done, I’m just sayin, and they will be done, with a little help from your Poetry Slow Down, so, whew. And we have some science news that we will call our poets to weigh in on, to enable us to be continuously cheerful as a sign of wisdom . . . the recent news of Einstein’s theory of gravitational waves being proven reminds us of the possibility of a third magnetic belt around Earth appearing mysteriously, as if two were not enough to keep our astrophysicists worried and there actually was a group, Tethers conceiving a space project in which we suspend a giant tether into the belts to ward off some of the electrons; the Van Allen belts, just the two of them encircling our earth, are so radioactive that they knock out satellites and jeopardize astronauts and who knows what else . . . but our poets are on the case as you knew they would be.
So we will begin with news on the topic of wisdom and the struggle to make a life of meaning and purpose and solace AND cheer—enduring —which will take us to some great poems on what and how to make of our moments, and to Rumi, and Hafiz, so let’s slow down, get our cheery game faces on for . . .”Continual cheerfulness is a sign of wisdom.
THE POETRY SLOW DOWN
With Professor Barbara Mossberg
Produced by Zappa Johns
March 13, 2016
© Barbara Mossberg 2016