Lisa Mednick Powell

Oct 30 Poetry Blast

Hi!! Today I couldn't decide whether to send a poem/ song email message about current events (scary and not-so-fun) or Halloween (scary and fun), so I decided to send one today and one tomorrow. Today you take your medicine and tomorrow you get your candy. Here are two versions of "Brother Can You Spare a Dime," one version performed by Bing Crosby and an updated version, performed by Dr. John and the late great Odetta. (I think I recognize the dobro on that track...anyone know who played on that session?) And, in celebration of the 125th anniversary of the statue of Liberty...the Emma Lazarus poem that is inscribed on the pedestal of the statue itself. The pedestal was created here in the U.S., but the statue was a gift from France. And I send this with bitter irony. Why? Look at what the republicans are trying to do to women. We are talking "going medieval" in some states... And look at the way we are treating immigrants. When many of our forbears were immigrants themselves and passed through Ellis Island not so long ago. Just the blink of an eye; one hundred twenty five years is nothing if you are looking at a statue. The second sonnet just says that what we leave behind is sort of important. Dr. John and Odetta: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3KoJj4dz2I&feature=related Bing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eih67rlGNhU The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to land; Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. "Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" Archaic Torso of Apollo by Rainer Maria Rilke (translated by Stephen Mitchell) We cannot know his legendary head with eyes like ripening fruit. And yet his torso is still suffused with brilliance from inside, like a lamp, in which his gaze, now turned to low, gleams in all its power. Otherwise the curved breast could not dazzle you so, nor could a smile run through the placid hips and thighs to that dark center where procreation flared. Otherwise this stone would seem defaced beneath the translucent cascade of the shoulders and would not glisten like a wild beast's fur: would not, from all the borders of itself, burst like a star: for here there is no place that does not see you. You must change your life.