A few years after her younger brother John died from AIDS-related complications in 1989, poet Marie Howe wrote him a poem in the form of a letter. Called “What the Living Do,” the poem is an elegiac description of loss, and of living beyond loss.
"When he died, it was a terrible loss to all of us," she tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. “As you know, as everybody knows, you think, 'My life is changed so utterly I don't know how to live it anymore.' And then you find a way.”
“Throughout the past four years, we keep hearing about the impact of this economy on the middle class, which of course, is important, but it’s having a great impact on these people, too. They can resort to strategies that make them seem unsympathetic. That’s what’s been missing from this debate. This recession aftermath has been so framed in terms of an impact on the middle class that the poor have largely been pushed out of the spotlight … and they’re really in political oblivion right now.”—On today’s Fresh Air, how the recession has impacted America’s poorest women.
“Poetry holds the knowledge that we are alive and that we know we’re going to die. The most mysterious aspect of being alive might be that — and poetry knows that.”—In honor of National Poetry Month, we’re replaying our interview with poet Marie Howe tomorrow.
I heard an author interviewed on NPR discussing the rich cultural legacy which slaves left upon America. Specifically, the influence of their spoken language upon Southern culture. Any idea who the author is?
Was it this interview with linguist Elizabeth Little on ATC? If not, anyone know what interview this might refer to?
“I was often dismissed as being cute. And it was like, no I don’t want to be cute, I want to be beautiful and smart. And that wasn’t happened and then I connected through music. So music became a way of identifying my particular niche. How lucky for me.”—Carole King talks about how music played a role in her earlier years.
“Most novels these days don’t look farther than their front yards for their subject matter, or sometimes just the bottom of the protagonist’s shot glass; Nadine Gordimer, however, like her great Eastern European contemporary, Milan Kundera, sees history, power, and a gnawing desire for something secular, yet entwined in every mundane gesture.”—Maureen Corrigan reviews Nadine Gordimer’s latest novel, No Time Like The Present.
Carole King is the guest on Fresh Air today. I asked some of my public media friends to help let people know via a sing-a-long on possibly the most hilarious medium to have a sing-a-long: Twitter. Naturally, This American Life started us off.
“I had repressed it but you can’t really repress something like that to the extent that you never think about it. One of the mechanisms that I had developed was pouring myself into athletics. The baseball field, the basketball court and the football field were all kind of my refuges, places that I would take sanctuary from the pain of feeling like I was a fractured, less-than-human person.”— For 23 years, Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey told no one that he had been sexually abused.
My favorite interviews are the ones with people who are truly passionate about what they do and want to share that love with others. At this job, I’ve written about people who work with mushrooms, ants, stunts, accents…you name it… But these interviews have stood out to me because the guests immediately drew me into their worlds and made me want to learn more.
“There’s this amazing prayer by a Jesuit father that says ‘Fall in love with God, stay in love with God and it will change everything.’ I don’t have this ontological commitment to this God that’s kind of out there, but I do have the sense that I’m a little more able to allow myself to experience the good and the aliveness of the world, if that makes any sense.”—T.M. Luhrmann is an anthropology professor at Stanford University. On today’s Fresh Air, she talks about how her experiences working with the people at The Vineyard changed her own ways of looking at God.
“What I was fascinated by, was that when people would enter the church, they’d say, ‘I don’t know what people are talking about. God doesn’t talk to me.’ And then they would try praying in this interactive, free-form imagination-rich kind of way, and after six months, they would start to say that they recognize God’s voice the way they recognize their mom’s voice on the phone.”—Anthropologist T.M. Luhrmann observed people who attend a Vineyard church in California. There congregants were taught to discern thoughts coming from their imagination with thoughts that were coming directly from God.
“These folks were invited to put out a second cup of coffee for God, they prayed to go for a walk with God, to go on a date with God, to snuggle with God, to imagine that they are sitting on a bench in the park with God’s arms are around their shoulders and they’re talking about their respective days.”—In When God Talks Back, which is based on an anthropological study she did at The Vineyard, T.M. Luhrmann examines the personal relationships that people developed with God and explores how those relationships were cemented through the practice of prayer.
“What’s the score, what inning are we in, how many outs, what’s this hitter’s weakness, what’s this pitcher’s strengths, who’s on deck, who could pinch hit, who is up after the hitter on deck… [You’re also thinking] how did we get this guy out last time, what pitches did he see, what pitches did we just throw…”—Catcher Brad Ausmus is considered to be one of the best catchers who ever played the game of baseball. On today’s Fresh Air, he explains what catchers say to pitchers when things aren’t going well, details nasty home plate collisions and tells us what goes through his mind before he calls pitches.