YOU’VE GOT TO GET UP OUT OF BED AND GREET THE DAY! WITH THE COFFEE OF THE POETRY SLOW DOWN
With Professor Barbara Mossberg
Get up, get up for shame . . ./Get up, sweet-Slug-a-bed . . . yet you not drest,/Nay! Not so much as out of bed?/ . . . ‘tis sin,/Nay, profanation to keep in . . . Wash, dresse, be briefe in praying: Few Beads are best, when once we goe a Maying./Come, my Corinna, come . . . (That’s Robert Herrick, approx 1646, and was it B.C. –before coffee? Stay tuned)
Come, my Corinna, my PoetrySlowDown, earnest ears, rapt minds, it’s May at last, come, for our show, while we are in our prime . . . we shall grow old apace, and die . . . Our life is short . . . let’s goe a Maying.
(Live from Kiawah Island, South Carolina), COME AMAY(Z)ING WITH ME ON THIS AMA(Y)ZING DAY. We’re slowing down to make the morning last, to rise UP, to celebrate May when outside it’s so lovely, lively, and frog loud, the world buzzing and waving, and so we’re thinking of how it is as our skin crawls even as tingles in the breeze that waves the shining fronds that we teach our children their knowledge of our world and our humanity in stories about precisely these creepy, crawly, warty, slithery, stalking, spiky, odd, weird, feared creatures, stories of noble heartfelt friendship between oddly-matched despised creatures: frogs, toads, spiders, pigs, rats, moles, mice, badgers, crocodiles. Yes, you remember, your favs, Frog and Toad Are Friends, Wind in the Willows, Charlotte’s Web, Winnie the Pooh, Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile, The Little Prince, Alice in Wonderland, and more . . . . and not just creatures but rocks and weeds and trees are friends, and so we hear the likes (and loves) of John Muir, we hear about the duty of happiness, the happiness of friendship with trees, carpe diem, and what coffee has to do with it (a lot, as it turns out, from extensive research including at least a three-minute internet search), and so we enjoy poems on carpe diem, coffee, May, friendship and love, by Robert Herrick, Horace, Robert Louis Stevenson, Billy Collins, Gerald Stern, Mary Oliver, Jack Gilbert, Shakespeare, John Muir, passages from A.A. Milne, Kenneth Graham, and Arnold Lobel, with music of Bob Marley, Beach Boys, Carole King, Friends’ Theme Song, Bach (oh yes, the Coffee Cantata), Pete’s Dragon, and, of course, the immortal “Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina in the morning,” and so here I am, on a barrier reef off the Atlantic, surrounded by swamps, salt marsh, and alligators, on the trail of John Muir and his 1000 Mile Walk to the Gulf, and let me tell you, it’s not all cakes and ale, as the Bard says, tracking this naturalist poet, I have a thousand bites to show for my effort to get out there today aMaying on this amazing day . . . . so I’ll quote the Bard, whom we celebrate 400 years of, in As You Like It,
Sweet are the uses of adversity,
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head;
And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in everything.
I would not change it.
Ah, good in everything: I would not change it. Every little thing’s going to be all right: this is my message to you-ou-ou-ou-ou (Bob Marley) Praise, indeed, for the day– thank you for listening, lovelies, on this our journey together, with me, your Dr. B, Professor Barbara Mossberg, hear hear’s to friendship and love (the lessons we teach and learn from the spiky and crawling and croaking of this world), music, and coffee, and morning, and poetry that makes it last, and the day all right, after all.
© Barbara Mossberg 2016, produced by our own Zappa Johns, overcoming all technical challenges while I am on broadcasting live on the trail of poetry in our civic life, from the swamps to Broadway and the arctic, on radiomonterey.com.