Monday, October 19, 2009

Hum Along

I think Garrison Keillor is a genius, a true Renaissance genius. About five years ago I got to go to the Hollywood Bowl with my dad and watch him and his cast preform A Prairie Home Companion. I've read several of his books. The man really can do it all. I love the volumes of poetry he edits: Good Poems and Good Poems for Hard Times. One of the things he does that I most enjoy is his daily NPR snippet, The Writer's Almanac. The poem below is from the email I get from that show. Each day the show sends out the script for the day's episode. The poem below was today's feature. I thought it was startling, something to really think about.

The Speaker

by Louis Jenkins

The speaker points out that we don't really have much of
a grasp of things, not only the big things, the important
questions, but the small everyday things. "How many steps
up to your front door? What kind of tree grows in your
backyard? What is the name of your district representative?
What is your wife's shoe size? Can you tell me the color of your
sweetheart's eyes? Do you remember where you parked
the car?" The evidence is overwhelming. Most of us never
truly experience life. "We drift through life in a daydream,
missing the true richness and joy that life has to offer." When
the speaker has finished we gather around to sing a few
inspirational songs. You and I stand at the back of the group
and hum along since we have forgotten most of the words.

"The Speaker" by Louis Jenkins, from Just Above Water. © Used with permission of the poet.

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