As we enter into the weekend celebrating American Independence Day on July 4th, I thought I’d put together some poetry about the American experiment. While not unprecedented, this is a complex time to be doing that. We are clearly in troubled times, and while I myself am as troubled as the times, I can still … Continue reading Claude McKay’s America
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!
It’s always the late empire period for old folks. When 1920 Claude McKay prophesied last time of granite wonders sinking in the sand at the end of his America poem, he was a self-proclaimed vital young man. He’s likely visualizing some hazy prophetic event with a undefined date as recorded by an even more distant … Continue reading Allen Ginsberg’s America
I could have chosen another poem for Easter, but besides this one’s song-setable qualities, “The Easter Flower” is a poem about a Christian holiday written by a non-believer. No, let me strike that casual term, “non-believer,” which doesn’t seem to fit McKay. He was a life-long radical, an unwavering believer in workers rights and social … Continue reading The Easter Flower
Continuing the countdown of the audio pieces with the most listens and likes over the past summer, we’ve reached numbers 7, 6, and 5. 7. O My Darling Troubles Heaven by Kenneth Patchen. I do wish I had more pieces with Dave Moore in them this summer. My summer schedule, my studio re-org, and various … Continue reading Parlando Project Summer 2019 Top Ten part 2
We’ve already heard from Claude McKay and Thomas Wentworth Higginson on the month of June, and now it’s time to turn to one of the foremost spirits of the mid-19th century American Transcendentalist movement, Henry David Thoreau. Thoreau is well-known for being in the activist, live-the-ideals, wing of Transcendentalism, though readers here have been introduced … Continue reading Thoreau’s June
As promised, here’s a love poem, one written by Claude McKay the Jamaican-born poet and writer who worked for many years in the United States. McKay sort of bridges the gap between Paul Laurence Dunbar and the Harlem Renaissance for Afro-American poets. Like Dunbar, Fenton Johnson and Anne Spencer, his poetry was written early enough … Continue reading Memory of June