When there’s a murder, we investigate “who dunnit.” When something’s gone wrong, we look for evidence. But what about when something goes right? With good acts, great acts, can we also investigate “who dunnit?” What’s the “weapon?” What’s the motive?

People of the Jury, this morning Slow Down, consider these facts with me. Robert Burns, whose 1759 birthday turning 248 is celebrated around the world this week, addressed a mouse as a “fellow mortal.” We’re going to try to show you a connection. We’re going to trace the heartfelt apology to this mouse whose rest has been disrupted by a contrite poet farmer to
Abraham Lincoln making the Emancipation Proclamation. Then we’ll note how Lincoln signs into law The Yosemite Grant. John Muir makes the case for a National Park. What connects this? We’ll argue—of course we will—we’re The Poetry Slow Down!—that what links these good acts, great acts, is that Lincoln and Muir share Rabbie Burns as their favorite poet. A connection? Stay tuned. . . .

© Barbara Mossberg

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