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
Today’s post is part of observing three anniversaries this week: this blog’s launch six years ago, Atomic Bomb Day (noting the anniversaries of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki), and my late wife’s death in 2001. An odd combination? Well, yes, but they coincide. Odd? Personal loss has an odd size. If one holds one’s … Continue reading Palingenesis — three anniversaries noted
There were fewer audio pieces presented this past summer, so I’m going to abbreviate our traditional Top Ten review of the past season to reflect that — but I still kind of like this part of the Project, as I get to see what pieces got the most response. Like the Parlando Project in general, … Continue reading Abbreviated Summer 2022 Parlando Top Ten
The river of history runs only in one direction.* And so on our river journey, the Modernist poetic landmark “The Waste Land” will arrive, and stopping and resting on the landing there will mark us as well past the headwaters, and our memories will diminish of the headwaters, even if the very water that carries … Continue reading Eliot’s Oak
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….
Here’s a piece that will seem appropriate for Christmas, but to be exact, it’s actually early and only due by January 6th. Yes, even though your standard-issue Christmas decoration depicts a stable with baby Jesus, his parents, livestock, shepherds, a hanging heavenly star, and that exotic trio: the Three Kings, the Three Wise men, the … Continue reading The Three Kings
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!
This project has gone on so long and produced so many pieces, so before February ends I thought I’d highlight five of the most popular pieces we’ve presented in past years that deal with Afro-American experience or history. The bold-faced start of each listing is a link to take you to the original Parlando Project … Continue reading Some past Parlando Project pieces relating to Black History Month
They tell us: yesterday was the last hot day of the year, with temps peaking above 90 F. The summer night ended, like a fair or exhibition with fireworks lightning and booming thunder, and the coolness of fall seems to have arrived today. The urban trees here have just a touch of autumn colors on … Continue reading The most popular Parlando Project piece, summer of 2022
Even with its most popular and well-known poems, poetry works, works its impact, one reader, one listener, at a time. Doing this project leads me to read a lot of poems. I’ll go through whole collections, entire anthologies, looking for things that I suspect I can create music for. That sense, “This could work with … Continue reading Her Lips are Copper Wire for National Poetry Month