We’ve Got To Get Ourselves Back to the Garden, say the poets

In which we consider the relationship between gardening and poetry from earliest times, as poets wipe soil from their hands to pen their thoughts on the inextricable connections between the act of creating and co-creating Truth and Beauty out of earthly experience, between what is sown and grown and pruned and tended, between mortal and immortal beauty. We’ll hear from Horace, of course, Shakespeare, hear hear!, Thoreau, he’ll crow, Emily Dickinson, and her twin one, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and speaking of kin, W.S. Merwin, Theodore Roetkhe, not to mention Charles Tripi, James Wright, so right, Mary Oliver, we love her, Pablo Neruda, our own time’s Buddha, Gerard Stern, it’s his turn, Yeats’ one of the greats, Stanley Kunitz, his tune is my bliss, and more (think C.K. Williams, Andrew Hudgins, and!). We’ll hear how some poets become activists in plant restoration movements, and we’ll revisit the Restore Hetch Hetchy movement to restore what John Muir, a flower viewer, called one the grandest landscape gardens ever consecrated on earth, for an update of its progress in rescuing this original garden from its spell of being a drowned valley, and redeeming us all. I even wrote a poem for this occasion called Redemption Engineering, about garden restoration, and we’ll hear about a book called Defiant Gardens by Kenny Helphand, and we’ll think about Voltaire and what he meant when his foolish Pangloss, the hopeless optimist, said, “cultivate your own garden,” and what Joni Mitchell meant in Woodstock’s, we’ve got to get ourselves back to the Garden. Yes, I know, there’s a Garden of Eden, and lots of poetry on that topic. So don your floppy garden hat, you know it’s a good look, put down your trowel, and let’s begin the Poetry Slow Down, I’m your host Professor Barbara Mossberg, for KRXA 540AM, with Hal Ginsberg, and Producer Sara Hughes.

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