Monday, November 24, 2008

The Quarter over.

Or, at least, all over but the grading. Time to throw some Ds on that card, as my son advises, or maybe something higher. Tis the season, after all.

Done with the Larry Joseph piece, & now at work (again, at last!) on Darwish & Taha Muhammad Ali.


Jonesing for a Gretsch, as I say on my new Facebook page. Just what I need: another electronic venue not to post to--and another instrument I can't quite play! Still, performing with the Alte Rockers, our synagogue's parody band, is a highpoint of my life these days. You can find our Obamarama sessions here; I promise, I'm practicing, & sounded better at the rabbi's 10th anniversary roast. If video surfaces, I'll send it along.


Last week, in Boston, I spoke on "Poetry and Prayer" at a liturgy panel for the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation. Piece by piece, I'm posting the texts I discussed (and those I simply handed out) over at my Big Jewish Blog. Amichai and Milosz, so far, and more to come.

(Too much travel, recently. R or I out of town nearly every weekend for the past month or more, and we're not much for separateness. No more, I think, 'til April. My sympathies to all of you heading to MLA this year; someday I'll ship off again, I'm sure, but not this time, not this year, as Obama used to say.)


Meg a decade old now. Damn. Cue the Sandy Denny--or, since I linked to her version for my last post at Romancing the Blog, let's go with Kate Rusby instead:

NEH news tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

When it is finally ours, this freedom, this liberty, this beautiful
and terrible thing, needful to man as air,
usable as earth; when it belongs at last to all,
when it is truly instinct, brain matter, diastole, systole,
reflex action; when it is finally won; when it is more
than the gaudy mumbo jumbo of politicians:
this man, this Douglass, this former slave, this Negro
beaten to his knees, exiled, visioning a world
where none is lonely, none hunted, alien,
this man, superb in love and logic, this man
shall be remembered. Oh, not with statues’ rhetoric,
not with legends and poems and wreaths of bronze alone,
but with the lives grown out of his life, the lives
fleshing his dream of the beautiful, needful thing.

--Robert Hayden, "Frederick Douglass"