White Lily

https://youtu.be/wf0q7q9Zu5Y

White Lily (Home of the Brave) (Live) by laurie Anderson

 

 

There is something about this clip from Home of the Brave that strikes me every time I hear/see it.  The question and answer.  The sense of days going by, pulling us into the future.  It is almost a month since we’ve been asked to shelter in place in Massachusetts.  Spring tosses its head, allowing rain, wind, gust, and sun, without pattern.  The trees are budding, first pink, then in the diustant cardinal red.  There are green leaves, and have been appearing since March began. Somehow, the garbage men still arrive to take away the bins every week, and this always reassures me, somehow.  So far, in my town, anyway, we still have recycling being picked up as well.  A headline caught my eye: it’s not all cooking and quality time.  A poem by teacher and writer Jessica Salfia composed of first lines of emails she received while in  quarantine  went viral: https://twitter.com/jessica_salfia/status/1249000027198033922

I spend more time on instagram and face book than before.  My schedule each day is wake, eat, read, eat,write, eat, television, sleep, punctuated by a conversation on the phone now and then, sprinkled with social media throughout.

There have been happy discoveries: Goldie Hawn silly-dancing on instagram. A breathtaking video of steamed bread-making:

Recipes that turn out well.

Roses that arrived in the mail, now planted, which might grow well, maybe.

Zoom meetings with friends.

The occasional egg cream.

The cats who interrupt my staring into space.

These are a few of my favorite things during this period in time, our 2020.

 

Music for these times

By the sea: a recording by Anna Phoebe

https://youtu.be/WJPbNBFPd98

I have not had too much to say these days, relishing the quiet, perhaps, though missing seeing other people. Spending far too much time on social media, yet it is often time well spent in terms of discovering moments of beauty. This song is such a one. If you go on instagram and search for Anna Pheobe Music, you will see an amazing collaborative pice on violin and keyboard, dedicated to all the health care workers. Poetry. I hope all if you are keeping well, finding moments of inspiration in the quiet.

Review of Firsts: 100 Years of Yale Younger Poets

Firsts is a curiously democratic gathering of poems by poets who have won the Yale Younger Poets Prize. The title could stand for the first time these poets were brought into prominence by winning a prize, or that they rank first in the company of poets. Each poet gets three poems, much like the guidelines of a proper contest. At first, the anthology seems to be about the judges. Indeed, the editor has written an introduction that is mostly about the judges of the prize, and if you turn to the end, you will find a list of judges, listed by year, followed by a list of the winning poets. Turning to the poems, you might be mildly irritated that each poet is presented to the reader with a mini cv, stating place of birth, books, and prizes, as well as occupation. Could there be a stuffier volume of poems? What was Carl Phillips thinking, augmenting tweediness with tweed, the fustiness of academia?  
Obviously, Phillips knew what he was doing.

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