Rebroadcast: *YOUR EFFULGENCE, THE BONES AND LIGHT OF IT–* *LET THESE POEMS TURN YOU RED GOLD ORANGE AND YELLOW: YOU HAVE ALWAYS BEEN A TREE AND YOU KNOW IT*

From October, 2013:

“Today when persimmons ripen,” as Jane Hirshfield begins us, we’re slowing down—you know you move too fast—in this slowed time of year, where trees are strutting their structural moxie, revealed when their leaves take flight, sing the song of gravity, and reveal the gold orange and red and yellow reality in them all along, a way that poetry slows us down to express the fall foliage colors, the way a poem can turn us into what we have been all along—as Rumi puts this idea, “lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along.” And the Mayan saying, You are the other me–perhaps this YOU is the poem in which we recognize what’s amazing, what’s to love . . . as D.H. Lawrence says in a poem called Know Deeply, Know Thyself More Deeply. Slowing down with poetry reveals a beauty, a hope, a redeeming knowledge that’s been there, In there, all along. So today, we’re going savor how a poem changes it up, saves the day, revealing not only the changing leaves but the beautiful trunk and limbs in us, as our leaves leave and turn—shimmering, gleaming, luminous moving and heart-shaking poems by Wendell Berry in his book Given, Susan Laughter Meyers in her My Dear, Dear Staggergrass, Albert Goldbarth, in Saving Lives, Charles Wright, in Bye and Bye, and poems by our own Charles Tripi, Pablo Neruda, Garcia Lorca, D.H. Lawrence, David Whyte, Fran Landesman, Shakespeare, Robert Bly, Mary Oliver, and what words we give our children, Maurice Sendak’s newly re-issued 1956 book, Kenny’s Window, and Leo Lionni’s profile of the poet in his Frederick . . . So ears, hears the story, and thank you for joining me, Professor Barbara Mossberg*

© Barbara Mossberg 2013

ALL THIS USELESS BEAUTY: DOES BEAUTY MATTER, WHY AND HOW COULD IT MATTER GIVEN TODAY’S NEWS, IS IT A LUXURY WE NO LONGER CAN AFFORD? QUESTIONS WE HAVE TO ASK, THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM WHEN WE TALK ABOUT POETRY.

And talk about poetry we will, with Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Ada Limon, Ross Gay, and Emily Dickinson. She started it, really: she said “Nobody knows this little rose.” Now we know Nobody: Odysseus’ cunning way to describe himself when he escapes the Cyclops, Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen, and Emily Dickinson’s anthem poem, I’m Nobody, a startling messing with our minds, since you can’t say you’re nobody, to say, I am, is to be somebody, and then to say you’re nobody is to completely undercut that in existential shenanigans. You can’t say you are not. Except, you can.

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Rebroadcast: EARTH’S ALPHABET BEGINS WITH B(EE): ON OUR BEES’ KNEES, OR, WHAT THE BUZZ IS ALL ABOUT

From October 21, 2012:

Bees, why bees, Dr. B? You’ve given us shows of moles and bats and hats and coots, roosters, birds, foxes, bears, butterflies, and even worms! How low can you go? You’ve had us walking, on our knees, falling from the sky and down stairs, lying in a hammock, slowed down to and swinging with revelation.What can be said about the plain old butter-knife bee? We’re into lyric, epic, ode, the quirky manic Bernstein, Stern, Williams, and Gregg, remember? I know you are!

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KNOW YOURSELF MORE DEEPLY (A SHINING GOLD TRUTH THAT WAS THERE ALL ALONG)–WE REVISIT YOUR EFFULGENCE, THE BONES AND LIGHT OF IT– LET THESE POEMS TURN YOU RED GOLD ORANGE AND YELLOW: NOTES FROM YOUR INNER TREE

“Today when persimmons ripen,” as Jane Hirshfield begins us, we’re slowing down—you know you move too fast—in this slowed time of year, where trees are strutting their structural moxie, revealed when their leaves take flight, sing the song of gravity, and reveal the gold orange and red and yellow reality in them all along, a way that poetry slows us down to express the fall foliage colors, the way a poem can turn us into what we have been all along—as Rumi puts this idea, “lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along.”

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Rebroadcast: CAN I TALK YOU OUT OF YOUR WORRIES? (or do I even want to?)

From September 27, 2015:

Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing.
And gave it up. And took my old body
and went out into the morning,
and sang.—Mary Oliver (from Swan)

Mary Oliver knows worry. Shakespeare knows worry. You know worry. I know worry. It’s what we’re made of, what distinguishes us from trees or chipmunks or glorious elk or owls or stars or salamanders. We’re worriers. Own it. But we’re also problem solvers, so we try to talk ourselves out of things, through things, to come up with a salve, some sort of savvy solace, something to rouse us ever onward. We need this: because hear in my morning inbox, Newsmax: 5 signs you will get cancer. Your last chance for . . . Don’t miss out on . . . Beware . . . Alert! Barbara did you know that . . .always adding to the day’s To Do list, worry about this, stress here and now! But hear come our poets, our own deus ex machina, to save the day, seize it, lift and heft and hoist and heave our worry-frayed spirits into resilience. And so we slow down, hold on, hear it (hear hear!) for our POETRY SLOW DOWN, radiomonterey.com, magic4life radio, produced by Zappa Johns, with your host Professor Barbara Mossberg, on the ways poets have our ears and backs, to wit:

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WHAT DO WE REALLY CARE ABOUT? POEMS KNOW. POEMS HAVE OUR NUMBER. WE CAN TAKE THEM AT THEIR WORD

THIS POEM: POETS SLOW DOWN TO CONSIDER THE QUESTIONS THAT MAKE US THANKFULLY HUMAN

Whoever Brought Me Here

All day I think about it, then at night I say it. 
Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing? 
I have no idea.
 My soul is from elsewhere, I’m sure of that,
and I intend to end up there. 

This drunkenness began in some other tavern. 
When I get back around to that place, 
I’ll be completely sober. Meanwhile, 
I’m like a bird from another continent, sitting in this aviary.
 The day is coming when I fly off, 
but who is it now in my ear who hears my voice? 
Who says words with my mouth? 

Who looks out with my eyes? What is the soul? 
I cannot stop asking. 
If I could taste one sip of an answer, 
I could break out of this prison for drunks. 
I didn’t come here of my own accord, and I can’t leave that way.
Whoever brought me here, will have to take me home. 

This poetry. I never know what I’m going to say. 
I don’t plan it.
When I’m outside the saying of it,
I get very quiet and rarely speak at all.

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