Archive for the ‘poetry’ Category

Lawrence Ferlinghetti, 1919–2021

February 26, 2021

I Am Waiting” by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, 1958. Read by Abu B. Rafique.

“Lawrence Ferlinghetti, an acclaimed poet and longtime proprietor of City Lights, the San Francisco bookstore and avant-garde publishing house that catapulted the Beat Generation to fame and helped establish the city as a center of literary and cultural revolution, died Feb. 22 at his home in San Francisco. He was 101.”

— “Lawrence Ferlinghetti, literary citadel of San Francisco, dies at 101,” Emma Brown, Washington Post

More:

“Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Beat Poet And Small Press Publisher, Dies At 101,” Tom Virtale, NPR

“Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Poet Who Nurtured the Beats, Dies at 101,” Jesse McKinley, New York Times

City Lights Booksellers and Publishers website

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America’s Most Widely Misread Literary Work

February 26, 2019

“America’s Most Widely Misread Literary Work.” Written and animated by Jackie Lay for The Atlantic.

“The poem isn’t a salute to can-do individualism. It’s a commentary on the self-deception we practice when constructing the story of our own lives.”

More:

“The Most Misread Poem in America,” David Orr, The Paris Review

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Happy Halloween

October 31, 2016

Christopher Walken recites Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven.” Boo.

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Donald Trump, Meet Langston Hughes

January 17, 2016

Donald Trump, Meet Langston Hughes

Let America Be America Again
Langston Hughes (1902 – 1967)

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There’s never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek—
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

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Billy’s Christmas Wish

December 29, 2015

“Billy’s Christmas Wish,” written and recited by Red Sovine. Imagine you’re alone, driving a semi down a dark highway at night, hearing this over the radio.

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Today’s Economy: Agnes Török Explains It All to You

July 19, 2015

“Worthless,” written and performed by Agnes Török of Loud Poets. Film by Perry Jonsson; music by Robbero.

h/t: S. Abbas Raza

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Philip Levine, 1928 — 2015

February 23, 2015

Philip Levine, then U.S. Poet Laureate, reading “What Work Is” at the AFL-CIO on Nov. 15, 2011.

“Philip Levine, a Poet of Grit, Sweat and Labor, Dies at 87,” Margalit Fox, New York Times

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Thanksgiving Greetings from William S. Burroughs

November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Greetings from William S. Burroughs

A holiday poem from Williams S. Burroughs: “Thanks for the wild turkey and the passenger pigeons …”

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Silent Night Before Christmas

December 24, 2013

Shaylee McFeely signs “The Night Before Christmas.”  Sheena McFeely, her mom, introduces her and the rest is captioned. This is the best version of the classic poem you’ll see tonight [4 minutes 51 seconds].

More:

“9 Reasons This Little Girl’s Sign Language Version of  ‘Twas he Night Before Christmas’ is Great,” Arika Okrent, Mental Floss

“A Visit from St. Nicholas,” Clement Clark Moore, Poetry Foundation

ASL Nook YouTube channel

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Thanksgiving

November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving

Native Americans brought corn chips and guacamole dip. Pilgrims brought pizza and beer. It was the first “fun” Thanksgiving.

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