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The Slowdown: Poetry & Reflection Daily

The Slowdown: Poetry & Reflection Daily

Poet Major Jackson is your guide on the pathways to feel and understand our common journey ? through poetry. In sharing poems, we take a moment to pause and acknowledge the world?s magnitude, and how poets illuminate that mystery. Join The Slowdown for a poem and a moment of reflection in one short episode, every weekday. Produced by APM Studios in partnership with The Poetry Foundation and supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. Make us a part of your routine as you drink coffee in the morning, as you take a walk in nature, or as you wind down to go to sleep in the evening. With host Major Jackson, we collectively take a moment to calm, to inspire, to learn, and to engage with the best emerging poets and established writers of our time and generations past, from Emily Dickinson to Danez Smith, from Amanda Gorman to Mary Oliver. Listen to our back catalog for episodes by our previous hosts, Tracy K. Smith and Ada Limón, as well as guest hosts Jenny Xie, Brenda Shaughnessy, Tina Chang, Nate Marshall, Shira Erlichiman, and Jason Schneiderman. Our hosts and production team select poems that move them, and we hope they move you, too.

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1056: Ghazal for Mothers & Tongues

Today?s poem is Ghazal for Mothers & Tongues by Sahar Muradi.


The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes? ?Today?s fine poem is gorgeous for many reasons, but one is the way the poet enriches our ears with the sounds of words. Poems that are designed like today?s poem turn language into more than just a tool of communication ? and into a ceremonial and opulent form of human address.?


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2024-02-05
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1055: Dancing at The Get Down by Cat Wei

Today?s poem is Dancing at The Get Down by Cat Wei.


The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes? ?Recently, my seventy-three-year-old father called to tell me how much fun he had at a local dance club. I was envious. He used to swim daily, but after health challenges, getting on the dancefloor, beneath swirling lights among deep shadows, is his preferred workout. Physical benefits aside, I think he also likes the attention of younger people at his moves. At weddings, family surround him and marvel. Today?s poem exquisitely examines the healing space of the dancefloor, where a purifying circle of joy awaits us.?


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2024-02-02
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1054: Hunger

Today?s poem is Hunger by Ryler Dustin.


The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes? ?Today?s poem reveals how our appetites take us beyond considerations of the earth and its resources. What we leave in our wake is a record of our cravings and our misguided sense of a limitless world.?


Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

2024-02-01
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1053: Why Write Love Poetry in a Burning World

Today?s poem is Why Write Love Poetry in a Burning World by Katie Farris.


The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes? ?Art is unequivocal evidence of our sanctity, of our ability to feel, to go beyond forbidden precincts into the depth of our emotions. I wish we would put a moratorium on questions of relevance of the arts and realize the gift of beauty that artists grant. One need not listen to a lecture on the philosophy of glass by a glassblower to know that its functionality and purpose are everywhere, writ on its surface.?


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2024-01-31
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1052: Body's Ken

Today?s poem is Body's Ken by Simon West.


The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes? ?Poets thrive in that energy between knowing and not knowing. They attempt to convey a sense of awakening by marking language and their experiences and thoughts as memorable, as sacred, while honoring the conditions that urged them into song.?


Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

2024-01-30
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1051: Venus's Flytraps

Today?s poem is Venus's Flytraps by Yusef Komunyakaa.


The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes? ?Some poems have a hold on us, their lines haunt, like the chorus from a favorite song. They cling to the mind like burrs. I?ve said them to myself lying motionless in bed at night, and while tying my shoes in the morning. They keep giving; they console when I need them to and anchor me in the familiar when all feels adrift. In music, we call them earworms.?


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2024-01-29
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1050: To The Woman Crying Uncontrollably in the Next Stall

Today?s poem is To The Woman Crying Uncontrollably in the Next Stall by Kim Addonizio.


The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. This week, we?re sharing listener stories from the Twin Cities Book Festival. In this episode, our producer, Myka Kielbon, writes? ?I think some poets will come at me for this, but for a lot of reasons, poetry is like the original meme. Memes are by definition a form, much like a poetic form. You can put different text upon the same picture, and the picture invites a certain read, much like using a sonnet or sestina. Maybe the proliferation of memes has? simplified our expressions of some experiences. But this expansive vocabulary of internet shorthand has also helped me commune and commiserate and connect with the people in my life over the things we feel and see every day. As our listener A. Rafael told us, those poems which really connect are much the same ? they put language to a bit of life that feels large and unwieldy inside of us.?


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2024-01-26
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1049: [I wandered lonely as a Cloud] or Daffodils

Today?s poem is [I wandered lonely as a Cloud] or Daffodils by William Wordsworth.


The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. This week, we?re sharing listener stories from the Twin Cities Book Festival. In this episode, our producer, Myka Kielbon, writes? ?Today?s poem is by a poet famous, in his time, for using what was called ?plain language.? It still sounds a bit? formal today, but the images ring timeless and true, personifying nature as full of joy in a way that pulls the speaker, and the reader, out of their own heads.?


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2024-01-25
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1048: You & the Donkey Cart

Today?s poem is You & the Donkey Cart by Rosa Alcalá.


The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. This week, we?re sharing listener stories from the Twin Cities Book Festival. In this episode, our producer, Myka Kielbon, writes? ?We carry stories across our individual realities. And, like our listener, Margaret said, we carry our family stories, our habits and practices. They live across generations, across borders and across seas. What we carry is often what brings us to poetry, what makes up our poems.?


Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

2024-01-24
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1047: To The Stone-Cutters

Today?s poem is To The Stone-Cutters by Robinson Jeffers.


The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. This week, we?re sharing listener stories from the Twin Cities Book Festival. In this episode, our producer, Myka Kielbon, writes? ?Our listener, Morgan, found writing poetry to be a tool to connect not only with her father?s homeland, but to connect with the people in her life, with her poetic lineages, with the body, and with nature. By focusing on the way poetry feels in the body, Morgan reminds me of a route to access language that sometimes feels insurmountable. Today?s poem, at first, leans into the cynicism of the Romantics, into the truth of mortality. But as it turns, it finds solace in what we create.?


Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

2024-01-23
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1046: After, We Try to Switch Our Hearts Back On

Today?s poem is After, We Try to Switch Our Hearts Back On by Joy Sullivan.


The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. This week, we?re sharing listener stories from the Twin Cities Book Festival. In this episode, our producer, Myka Kielbon, writes? ?Today?s poem reads almost like a bullet journal, a rapid log of experiences in a day. Through that we hear the speaker take hold of small pleasures. And in the noise of what once was ordinary, it makes space for questions about how different so many of us still feel.?


Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

2024-01-22
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1045: Sonnet for Ochún

Today?s poem is Sonnet for Ochún by Leslie Sainz.


The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes? ?In today?s poem, I hear a shared melancholy, a world-weariness where the edges of life fail to offer answers. Yet, I detect, too, in the presence of a deity, the transits and rituals of hope and renewal.?


Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

2024-01-19
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1044: Mixed Marriage

Today?s poem is Mixed Marriage by Nick Laird.


The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes? ?Some days, we bicker, nothing major (pun intended). Often, it?s minor: control of the thermostat, recycling duty, my general proclivity to forget. On very rare occasions, we hit upon a disagreement that requires work ? where we need to figure out why we react so strongly. I have not been in a romantic relationship that did not require work. I mean come-to-your-maker kind of work. I?m talking emotional work that has you question every decision you have made up till that moment and every decision you will make thereafter. Faint of heart? Don?t even go there. Too awed by your own existence? You might be better off alone. Allergic to change? Incapable of adapting? Only the rotation of the sun is a constant; all else is subject to life?s mutability and human fallibility. The most stable of relationships account for this fact.?


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2024-01-18
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1043: from ?Listen to the Golden Boomerang Return? by CAConrad

Today?s poem is from ?Listen to the Golden Boomerang Return? by CAConrad.


The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes? ?Today?s poem inhabits the breathlessness and press of love, that is creatively generative, that is organic in its speed and purpose, that is feverish and holy in its corporeal intensity.?


Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

2024-01-17
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1042: Ode to Badminton

Today?s poem is Ode to Badminton by Prageeta Sharma.


The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes? ?If it were up to me, everything I love would have a poem in praise of it. I mean everything: homemade chocolate cookies, park benches, sinuous roads beside city rivers ? even to that clear plastic cap on a newly purchased deodorant stick, that this morning I only figured out the best way to remove. Turn the dial.?


Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

2024-01-16
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1041: By Then

Today?s poem is By Then by David Rivard.


The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes? ?I love the clarity in today?s poem, in how it nurtures self-awareness in the wake of emotional turmoil and growth.?


Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

2024-01-15
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1040: The Idea of Order at Key West

Today?s poem is The Idea of Order at Key West by Wallace Stevens.


The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes? ?When a performer brings their whole self the planets align. Life magically makes sense. Today?s famous poem ponders one of those moments in which, through another?s expression, all agonies and confusions give way to a dignified stasis.?


Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

2024-01-12
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1039: What Good Is Silence

Today?s poem is What Good Is Silence by Phuong T. Vuong.


The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes? ?Today?s poem illustrates returning to listening as a ventilation of the soul, sublimating the ego in the interest of interacting with more than just our thoughts.?


Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

2024-01-11
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[encore] 877: The Lifeline

Today?s poem is The Lifeline by Pádraig Ó Tuama.


The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes? ?When natural disaster occurs, when catastrophe falls upon us, we humans lean into life. We need the counterbalancing force of creation and renewal to tilt the world back toward meaning and light. We pursue activities that resist a chaos of the mind and spirit, some endeavor that gives us a foothold on the unthinkable, an anchor, a reminder of the eternal nature of existence.?


Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

2024-01-10
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1038: The Book of Barely Imagined Beings

Today?s poem is The Book of Barely Imagined Beings by Ailish Hopper.


The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes? ?With great courage, writers, activists, and poets choose to speak for peace and the value of human life; yet they face being ostracized and harassed for their views. Today?s poem reminds me of the value of ethical resistance and the valor of asserting a fundamental belief in life.?


Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

2024-01-09
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1037: An Open Call to Single Daughters of Single Mothers

Today?s poem is An Open Call to Single Daughters of Single Mothers by Katie Marya.


The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes? "Today?s poem broadcasts a necessary remembrance and mapping of our mother?s physical selves, bodies that perhaps not only gave us life, but in all their manifestations served as the source of our stability and gains."


Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

2024-01-08
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1036: Pleasure

Today?s poem is Pleasure by Victoria Redel.


The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes? ?Today?s poem celebrates that maturing sensibility of being present and open, especially when your pleasures go beyond the pursuits of desire and the body.?


Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

2024-01-05
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1035: The Darkling Thrush

Today?s poem is The Darkling Thrush by Thomas Hardy.


The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes? ?The late poet Donald Hall said that ?A poem is one inside talking to another inside.? We live chiefly in our own minds, but poetry allows us to make public our most intimate thoughts. Our true feelings struggle to find expression; our dreams are a valve. But poetry, too, acts as a channel by which we begin to hear ourselves and hear others. ?


Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

2024-01-04
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1034: Cliche?

Today?s poem is Cliche? by V. Penelope Pelizzon. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual.


In this episode, Major writes? ?Today?s poem makes use of the ocean as a paradoxical symbol of healing and regeneration yet, too, a site of debris and decay.?


Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

2024-01-03
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1033: On Meeting My Biological Father

Today?s poem is On Meeting My Biological Father by Sarah Audsley.


The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes? ?No adoptee?s experience is the same. Today?s poem portrays a meeting with a birth parent ? the kind of encounter we seek to gain new information, but, it often does more to help us live, every day, with what we already knew.?


Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

2024-01-02
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1032: Counting, This New Year?s Morning, What Powers Yet Remain To Me

Today?s poem is Counting, This New Year?s Morning, What Powers Yet Remain To Me by Jane Hirshfield. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual.


In this episode, Major writes? ?The clocks have struck another year. Soon, I will box up and archive 2023 in the mental basement of my mind, although I'm sure certain events of the past 365 days will reverberate in both predictable and not-so-predictable ways into the future. Today?s poem makes a powerful assertion that maybe what we bring to the problems of the world, to our sense of survival, is our attention?and our joy.?


Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

2024-01-01
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1031: Objects in the Mirror are Closer Than They Appear

Today?s poem is Objects in the Mirror are Closer Than They Appear by Alleliah Nuguid. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual.


In this episode, Major writes? ?Today?s poem reminds me of wildlife and humans who exist in our imagination as dangerous, how we eradicate or disappear those we fear, in our efforts to control our environments. Yet, their presence is magic, and can be irrepressible joy. ?


Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

2023-12-29
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1030: Fourth Wall Arpeggio

Today?s poem is Fourth Wall Arpeggio by A. Van Jordan.


The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes? ?Sometimes, a speaker in a poem will acknowledge its own artificiality by addressing the reader directly or by making a self-referential remark, all to say, Hey, reader; I know you?re there, listening in. Breaking the fourth wall in poetry removes pretense and lays bare a vulnerability that creates an intimacy and collapses distance.?


Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

2023-12-28
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1029: If I Told Him, A Completed Portrait of Picasso

Today?s poem is If I Told Him, A Completed Portrait of Picasso by Gertrude Stein. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual.


In this episode, Major writes? ?Today?s poem is a touchstone example of art that altered how we hear words, but also, how we perform language to transform words into elements of our yielding and will.?


Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

2023-12-27
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1028: Yet, the Loveliness

Today?s poem is Yet, the Loveliness by Michelle Bitting.


The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes? ?Today?s poem reminds me of the power of granting forgiveness, of liberating each other from the confines of guilt, and of surrendering ourselves to each other?s humanity. That is its own ceremony of renewal and supplication.?


Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

2023-12-26
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1027: The Memory of the Young

Today?s poem is The Memory of the Young by Maria Hummel.


The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes? ?With enough concentration, I can vividly recall my youth while writing. But lately, that mental time travel occurs even when I?m not at my desk. While performing the most mundane of duties, images overlay onto the present, like a form of augmented reality. Poems contain time, time which we feel palpably in its cadences and imagery.?


Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

2023-12-25
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1026: Ode to Bones

Today?s poem is Ode to Bones by Lynne Thompson.


The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes? ?Today?s poem riffs off a childhood name, to caravan us to all the possibilities of association which brings the speaker back to the uniqueness and individual nature of their being.?


Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

2023-12-22
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1025: I Am Trying to Love the Whole World

Today?s poem is I Am Trying to Love the Whole World by Jenny Browne.


The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes? ?If only we viewed observations of the natural world and meditations on birds, mammals, and plant life as equally, critically urgent, we might awaken to the necessity of caretaking of our planet and each other. Birdwatching does not have to be a form of looking away, it can be an antidote for our spirit.?


Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

2023-12-21
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1024: Ashes

Today?s poem is Ashes by Rahma O. Jimoh. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual.


In this episode, Major writes? ?As a poet, how can you write into that catastrophe? How can a poem artfully contain the struggle between the sanctity of nature and the unfettered business practices of corporations that put humans and the environment in harm?s way??


Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

2023-12-20
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1023: Hurrying Toward the Present

Today?s poem is Hurrying Toward the Present by Suzanne Lummis.


The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes? ?At a young age, I saw that the pain of rage and resentment is not just in your body. It can course through your actions, and send askew the course of your life. I?ve experienced my fair share of slings and arrows, wrongs done to me. As much as they hurt in the moment, I know they do not belong on the back of my future self.? Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

2023-12-19
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1022: Two Shadows

Today?s poem is Two Shadows by Maurice Manning.


The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes? ?I want someone in my daughter?s life who will sing to her when she is most full of doubts and uncertainties, when storms inevitably arrive. Today?s poem gorgeously anticipates the day ahead when our children will pursue their own loves, and what magic we might model for them.? Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

2023-12-18
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1021: Making Things

Today?s poem is Making Things by Major Jackson. This moment of pause is a shortened version of an interview with Minnesota Public Radio?s Kerri Miller. The full version of this interview is available in the Big Books & Bold Ideas podcast feed, and as a video on our YouTube channel.


Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

2023-12-15
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1020: Ithaka

Today?s poem is Ithaka by C.P. Cavafy.


The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes? ?Harvard, Illinois is among a host of American cities and towns named for locales with more illustrious histories and associations: Paris, Texas; Rome, Maine; Athens, Georgia; Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Today?s poem makes me think, first, of the city in upstate New York where some of my favorite poets reside. But it takes me next to that birthplace of Odysseus and that symbol of home, an emblematic journey by which we all must psychologically return.?


Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

2023-12-14
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1019: Ambition

Today?s poem is Ambition by Sarah Wetzel.


The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes? ?Today?s poem illustrates the extent to which people will fabricate narratives to come off more gallant, more caring, more whatever, or simply not what they actually are. And yet, it unearths the human desires that show us why we lie.?


Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

2023-12-13
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1018: Cuffing Season

Today?s poem is Cuffing Season by Lisa Fay Coutley.


The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes? ?Love is a force that reconciles what is, in contradistinction, wrong in the world. Because I know that love is real, and that love is right. But sometimes finding love is a journey that takes longer than some but is worth it. Today?s poem wrestles with the tentativeness by which relationships are pursued, given the scariness of their potential outcomes.?


Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

2023-12-12
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1017: Parallel Worlds

Today?s poem is Parallel Worlds by Lester Graves Lennon.


The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes? ?In today?s poem, a harrowing car ride spawns questions of meaning and purpose, and the possibilities of our cosmic connections in the face of that which is unknown.?


Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

2023-12-11
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1016: In the Seam of Life

Today?s poem is In the Seam of Life by Rachel Galvin. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual.


In this episode, Major writes? ?A recent YouTube search for something else led me to an how-to video on land transference and group deeds . . . in the virtual world known as Second Life. Turns out, one can purchase everything from biscuits for their avatar dog, to a virtual silver-studded leather jacket, to a renovated kitchen for one?s imaginary urban loft. The virtual world turned twenty years old this summer, enough time for users to program a free market parallel to our own. Frankly, I?m struggling with the realities of our offline economy, and lately, the seemingly insurmountable issues we face IRL: war, political discord, mass shootings. But that?s just the thing with roleplaying communities: they grant reprieve from our very human and very startling challenges. They permit entry into worlds where we can pursue an existence much different than our current reality, with all of its missed opportunities and deferred dreams. What we cannot have in this life?say, peace?we can render in another.?


Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

2023-12-08
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1015: Death Letter #2

Today?s poem is Death Letter #2 by Sean Thomas Dougherty. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual.


In this episode, Major writes? ?We are lucky to hear in a poem one piece of wisdom to carry into our day. Today's poem yields so many, spoken from the protective spirit and love of a father and husband. It is a poem that is relentless in its simple truths, and thus, life-affirming at every turn.?


Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

2023-12-07
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1014: Date

Today?s poem is Date by Taneum Bambrick. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual.


In this episode, Major writes? ?There?s nothing wrong with being attracted to people, but there is something wrong with acting on that attraction in a way that reduces them. Today?s poem invokes that captive feeling, and asks what it leaves just under the surface.?


Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

2023-12-06
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1013: Reading Poetry in Illness

Today?s poem is Reading Poetry in Illness by Anya Krugovoy Silver. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual.


In this episode, Major writes? ?These are poems that are meant to enter the body at the right time, to exist there, to do their healing and be on their way; they are not for close reading or exegesis. They protect the threshold between the living and the dead. They remind one of old roads. They return the frog to his kingdom.?


Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

2023-12-05
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1012: Morning Glory

Today?s poem is Morning Glory by Patricia Spears Jones. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual.


In this episode, Major writes? ?Today?s poem highlights the fierce omnipresence of nature, even in environments where we are trained not to notice, or are too busy to do so.?


Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

2023-12-04
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1011: Bloodroot

Today?s poem is Bloodroot by Mary-Alice Daniel. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual.


In this episode, Major writes? ?Bluegrass conjures up the past in ways that feel both celebratory and painful. They call it mountain music, and some believe the creeks, rivers, valleys, and woods carry a hurt that one hears in all that fiddling, a sentimental history of Appalachia, but also a palpable history of poverty, subjugation, bondage, and musical ingenuity. That haunting, for me, is embedded in the folklore and spirit of the South, which I am just beginning to feel in my body.?


Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

2023-12-01
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1010: Self-care Bucket List

Today?s poem is Self-care Bucket List by Nancy K. Pearson. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual.



In this episode, Major writes? ?Bucket lists orient people toward the future, true. They can sweep one ahead into a momentum of deserved recognition. Yet, how powerful to live without the aid, or, the loom, of an imagined inventory of milestones.?



Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

2023-11-30
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1009: Teleology

Today?s poem is Teleology by Willie Lin. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual.


In this episode, Major writes? ?We?ve so much between us: awards shows, music, art, weather, and a final breath we do not know when will befall us. And yet, some remain alien and indifferent to others, incurious?sometimes for money, but sometimes, by choice. How we cherish our isolation.?


Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

2023-11-29
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1008: Kinds of Silence

Today?s poem is Kinds of Silence by Elisabeth Murawski. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual.
In this episode, Major writes? ?Today?s poem captures that feeling of expectancy and uncertainty, a feeling that resonates lately, as I find myself wondering about the future ? with so much of the earth and its inhabitants hurting, yet also, working towards a peaceful vision of our humanity."


Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

2023-11-28
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