A podcast recommendation: Listen to THE SLOWDOWN – a weekday program with Tracy K. Smith.
She opens with an essay on some way that she sees the world, inspired by a poem which she closes the program by reading. This slowing down to read a poem with some serious reflection on that poem gives me insight into the poem and into our lives and the crossovers are seamless.
Tracy K. Smith was the 22nd United States Poet Laureate from 2017 to 2019, and is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Ordinary Light and several books of poetry, including her Pulitzer Prize-winning collection Life on Mars. She is the director of the Creative Writing Program at Princeton University.
The range and variety of topics, poems and poets are vast.
“Winter Trees” by William Carlos Williams may not conjure up only trees in winter.
And “The Death of an Elephant” by Gianfranco Pagnucci does deal with a death of that noble creature but is more about how we grieve.
Episodes are available on all the standard podcast apps but if you’re not an app kind of person, you can listen on the website slowdownshow.org The program is produced in partnership with the Poetry Foundation.