ALL THAT DAMPNESS AND RECKLESSNESS / GLADLY AND LIGHTLY / AND THERE IT IS AGAIN–BEAUTY THE BRAVE, THE EXEMPLARY / BLAZING OPEN

Recklessness . . . gladly . . . rambunctious . . . shining . . . our  show today takes its title from Mary Oliver,  “ALL THAT DAMPNESS AND RECKLESSNESS/GLADLY AND LIGHTLY,/ AND THERE IT IS AGAIN–BEAUTY THE BRAVE, THE EXEMPLARY,/BLAZING OPEN,” and CONNIE ELLISOR, “THE HEART IS RAMBUNCTIOUS,  RAUCOUS,  NERVY, SOLICITOUS, STRIDENT, and…

Morten Lauridsen, Sure On This Shining Night
Sure on this shining night/of star-made shadows round,/kindness must watch for me/This side the ground/The late year lies down the north/All is healed, all is health./ High summer holds the earth,/Hearts all whole./Sure on this shining night/I weep for wonder,/Wandr’ing far alone/Of shadows on the stars.”

Mary Olliver asks us, Do you love this world?/Do you cherish your humble and silky life? . . . Do you also hurry, half-dressed and barefoot, into the garden?” We consider poems of fishing and gardens and how this world is loved by poets who show us humble lives that glisten with grace of wonder–and hear how we begin half-dressed with Oliver and end up with Rumi, naked in the garden.

Our music notes give you a sense of what we’re after:
After D.H. Lawrence fish poem, ending, “In the beginning Jesus was called the Fish and in the end,” we hear van Morrison, And It Stoned Me. 
Right after Billy Collins’ poem about fish on his plate, “it began to stare up at me with its one flat iridescent eye,” we hear Taj Mahal, I’m  a going fishing, my baby’s going fishing too.
After the poem, “The Wind Blows Through My Heart,” by Deborah Digges, we hear Blackberry Winter, Connie Ellisor.
After we talk about National Parks and Yosemite’s twin valley, Hetch Hetchy, we hear about “Resurrection Enginnering,” followed by Withered Hand, New Gods.  
 
After Robert Burns, “The Banks of the Devon,” we hear a “new year” song by this poet, Auld Lang Syne.
 
..When we hear how “a child will find history a story of redemption,” we hear Leonard Cohen, Halleluiah. 
Last song at closing Rumi poems, “A House for the Naked,” and “Like Sunlight Upon the Earth,” Eric Clapton, Sunshine of Your Love, Cream
In just Spring–when the world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful, in e.e. cummings’ paean to Spring, and his “i who have died am alive again today/and this is the sun’s birthday, and this is the birth/ day of life, and love, and of wings, and of the gay/ great happening illimitably earth,” on this Easter Sunday, on our Poetry Slow Down, radiomonterey.com, I’m your host Professor Barbara Mossberg, with Producer Zappa Johns, so excited to be with you in this wild and wet time of year, drenched and falling down and rising up, rivers and mountains, flowers, hearts . . . there are floods and blossoms, it’s tremendous transitions . . . we’ll hear poems dripping and muddy that have gone fishing and been gardening, A.K. Rallings, D.H. Lawrence, Billy Collins, Hafiz, Melanie Waters, Stanley Kunitz, Theodore Roethke, W.S. Merwirn, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Deborah Digges, Charles Tripi, Alva Havard, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Zeeya Aspandiar,  Robert Burns, Sarah Hovet, Emily Dickinson, and your host chime in (hear hear!). I love these poems–awed and humbled to be reading their silky rambunctiousness, their hopeful earnest visions of what is possible for us–in Merwin’s words, it’s not too late . . . if we pay attention. These poems are all about paying attention!
Thank you for joining in this movement to bring poetry’s news to the civic space, poems that engage this world of ours in which, in visions of hope and history, we live again, and again.
© Barbara Mossberg 2016

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