What value is mystery and strangeness to gratitude, to a sense of thanks? Let me try an experiment with you here. American Thanksgiving still retains a degree of its nature as a harvest festival, and so when looking for a text to use today I came upon this one by highly unfashionable poet Henry Wadsworth … Continue reading Longfellow’s Harvest Moon
I live in one of the northernmost states in the U.S., a place where winter cannot be denied, and so we must make our treaty with cold and snow. Some will even claim it makes us better persons—hardier, accepting of the Zen of difficulties. Still, if Minnesota has inherent Buddhist elements, it doesn’t lessen my … Continue reading Longfellow Goes Beat
A momentous week in the United States as election results are counted, and I’m frankly distracted from my normal creative routine. But as we wait, I can offer this piece by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow that I presented as part of a celebration of American Independence Day last July. Mixed metaphors: ships and trains. Minneapolis has … Continue reading As we wait….
Claude McKay led an outsiders’ life, Allen Ginsberg became a near celebrity bohemian whose outsider status changed over his life. The author of today’s poem in our Independence Day series was more well-known than Ginsberg in his day, and he was as far from being an outsider as any American poet could be. At one … Continue reading Sail on, Oh Ship of State!
I can’t let February and Black History month go by without another poem, so let’s return to the man who could be said to have established Afro-American poetry in the United States, Paul Laurence Dunbar. Although he lived into the first few years of the 20th century, Dunbar as a poet is fixed in the … Continue reading Kidnaped
Here’s a hopeful song written by a worried man during the great trauma of the American Civil War. Those who’ve followed along on this blog in 2018 will know that I’ve performed several pieces with words written by that man, poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. I’ve written about his once great fame and his steep fall … Continue reading I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day (Christmas Bells)
Remember back a few posts ago when the Parlando Project performed a question posed by poet Vijay Seshadri? He asked what poetry, or any art, can say about children in cages. There are many answers to that for poets. One obvious one: to say in your work that it is wrong and that you oppose … Continue reading The Quadroon Girl
I’m going to move on up the countdown of the most liked and listened to pieces during the past summer, but first a short summary about what the Parlando Project does, and an even more compressed explanation of why we do it. The Parlando Project combines various words, mostly written by others, most often poetry, … Continue reading Summer 2018 Parlando Top Ten, Part Three
You may have noticed fewer new pieces posted here over the past month. There are a variety of un-interesting reasons for that, but one cause is worth a post, even if it’s not representative of what you usually find here. Think of it as a “make up post” for the missing activity this July. This … Continue reading Three Places In New England
A couple of posts ago as I presented a piece using words by American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, I mentioned that his prestige has fallen greatly. How far? His Wikipedia article shares some snark: Longfellow was minor and derivative in every way throughout his career…nothing more than a hack imitator of the English Romantics.” “Who, … Continue reading The Witnesses