I read Braided Creek: A Conversation in Poetry by Jim Harrison and Ted Kooser in its entirety yesterday. It’s a library book and is due soon. I sometimes use library due dates to spur myself on to finish a book. It’s short, only about 85 pages of skimpy little poems. According to the book jacket, the book grew out of a “correspondence comprised entirely of brief poems.” It also describes the poems themselves as “aphoristic” and “epigrammatic.” That’s a fair description.
After reading it, I copied several in my journal. Here are a few.
Found: A good book,
an old sweater,
In each of my cells Dad and Mom
are still doing their jobs. As always,
Dad says yes, Mom no. I split the difference
and feel deep sympathy for my children.
I have used up more than
20,000 days waiting to see
what the next would bring.
Come to think of it,
There’s no reason to decide
who you are.
That’s a smattering of what I put on paper.
I was listening to Now & Then: The Rise of Bully Politics this morning. It’s a podcast by Heather Cox Richardson and Joanne Freedman, both historians. I was surprised that they traced the current state of bullying rhetoric to Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign.
Reagan kicked off his 1980 presidential campaign at the Neshoba County fair in Mississippi.
This was the county where three civil rights organizers were murdered. The choice was intentional. Reagan spoke of “states rights” on the occasion. When Carter called him on this, Carter himself was accused of being “mean.” Richardson and Freedman see this as the beginning of the current tactic of bullying Republicans to paint themselves as victims not bullies.
Tellingly they cite Mitch McConnell’s recent accusation about Chuck Schumer’s speech on the floor of the House of Representatives describing the Republican tactic of threatening fiscal security by refusing to help raise the debt limit.
Here’s an Oct 9th Guardian article about this.
Richardson and Freeman do a good job describing and analyzing all of this. It’s worth a listen.
I learned that the idea that Vietnam vets were spat on by protestors when they returned from the war came from the Rambo movies. I knew it was spurious but didn’t realize that it actually came via the movies.
Finally, my morning listening also included showering to one of my favorite Takemitsu pieces.