Sick and tired. Is there anyone who isn’t sick and tired? Granted we may be sick and tired of different things, but aren’t we all glad to put campaign mailers in the recycling bin and see the neighbor’s lawn cleared of irritating signs?
Let’s change the channel. We need something else to think about, something that doesn’t make anyone anxious or angry.
I’ve been listening, rapturously, to two different poetry podcasts, both great for a walk or a listen while you make dinner. The fact that neither of the podcasters are American and bristling with our particular preoccupations of the last four years is part of the charm, especially for me, a committed Anglophile.
Let me know if you give these a listen and how you like them.
(And let me know if you have favorite podcasts of your own. I’m always looking for something new to listen to.)
Frank Skinner’s Poetry Podcast. I first heard Frank Skinner on another podcast, “This Movie Changed Me” (highly recommend that too), discussing The Exorcist. His passion for that movie was such that he almost convinced me to watch it. (Didn’t though, and won’t.) He’s British and whip smart and says things like, “I once went to a cricket match drunk,” by way of explaining the word amanuensis. But you’ll hear no posh accent or academic piffle. He’s a just regular guy who loves poetry. The way he talks about each featured poem is a mix of a gourmand eating something delicious and a football fan after a game-changing play. “Oh C’MON!” he says in wonder. He takes up poems and poets I have avoided or never heard of and me makes me love them as he does. Most of the episodes are a half-hour and they fly by.
Pádraig Ó Tuama’s “Poetry Unbound,” brought to you by OnBeing. The word “lovely” is so overused these days that I hesitate to employ it, but it is simply the best word to describe this gem of a podcast. Ó Tuama’s Irish voice will soothe the most frazzled nerve. Play before bed as a meditation or listen at the bathroom sink to start your day in calm. Each episode is under ten minutes.
Go forth in peace!