FROM OREGON’S FAMED HAYWARD FIELD TO INTERNATIONAL LEADERSHIP ASSOCIATION WAVES OF POSSIBILITY CONFERENCE, TO GRADUATION CEREMONIES, TO ANNIVERSARIES OF YEATS AND MY MOTHER’S BIRTHS, AND GERARD MANLY HOPKINS AND ANNE FRANK’S DEATHS, FEATS OF LEAPING SHENANIGANS AND SPRUNG RHYTHMS OF SPIRIT AND HEART AND BODY, applied to a NCAA track meet, dawn, life and death, nature, love, poems themselves as feats that win and save the day, when gravity would pull us down—all the ways we find to fly beyond our limitations, in poems of Wordsworth, the Bible, Yeats, Rumi, e.e. cummings, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Emerson (identified by UO Clark Honors College graduation speaker for us, Luciano G Dolcini-Catania), Billy Collins, William Ernest Henley, Tennyson, Dickinson, Nikki Giovanni, Gerard Stern, Chuck Tripi, Pablo Neruda, Philip Levine (chosen by Joan Houlihan in the post a poem a day challenge), William Blake, and from my new collection Sometimes the Woman in the Mirror Is Not You (feisty resistance to all that weighs us down). It may have been slowing down to sit at the track meet in front of hurdlers hurtling that I was thinking about leaping, keeping in mind my father’s “I love hard work. I could watch it for hours.” But Emerson reminds us much may be leaping within. One leap leads to another, and we will celebrate the leaping that is the heart of threshold moments at the heart of life, as we slow down with our Poetry Slow Down, for radiomonterey.com, produced by Zappa Johns, with me, your host Professor Barbara Mossberg.

Live Sunday noon-1pm, podcast at BarbaraMossberg.com

© Barbara Mossberg



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