ON MOTHER’S DAY, The Poetry of One of the Most Undocumented Profound Phenomena of Human Experience

There’s not a lot of it—on the surface—apparently—but what’s there is good-hearted and heart-breaking and moving and shaking, human beings at their humblest and poets at the most yearning and wistful and creative. In this show I reflect on my own poetry about my mother, and being a mother-poet, and the cultural history of mother poets and children poets talking about mothers.

We’ll hear Billy Collins, Allen Ginsberg, Mary Oliver, Derek Walcott, Sharon Olds, Galway Kinnell, and I’ll share with you what role poetry has played in my life as mother and daughter to my mother. I’m broadcasting live from the east coast on graduation day, and our producer Zappa Johns on the Pacific Coast, and the music, as you’ll hear, makes the case that most songs, in fact, are about what we think our mothers are saying to us, and what we do hear, do hear. Recommendations for Mother’s Day—Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods, Anne Tyler’s novels, Laurie Moore’s novels, and Paul Simon’s “Bridge Over Troubled Waters.” And I’ll sing to you the songs I write to my own children!

© Barbara Mossberg 2017

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