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  • Glenn Sonnenberg

Musings from the Bunker 7/11/20



Good morning!

Thanks, Scott Edelman, for the above.

Once again, a few suggestions of poetry and music for the weekend.

 

POETRY

After the Langston Hughes poem two weeks ago came this reminiscence from Sandy Pressman of “my favorite poem, posted across the chalk board in Mrs. Stevens’s English class at Hamilton High School”:

Dreams, by Langston Hughes

Hold fast to dreams

for if dreams die

life is a broken winged bird

that cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams

for when dreams go

Life is a barren field

frozen with snow

This appeared in the New York Times a couple of weeks ago. A friend suggested repeating it here:

Weather, by Claudia Rankine

On a scrap of paper in the archive is written

I have forgotten my umbrella. Turns out

in a pandemic everyone, not just the philosopher,

is without. We scramble in the drought of information

held back by inside traders. Drop by drop. Face

covering? No, yes. Social distancing? Six feet

under for underlying conditions. Black.

Just us and the blues kneeling on a neck

with the full weight of a man in blue.

Eight minutes and forty-six seconds.

In extremis, I can’t breathe gives way

to asphyxiation, to giving up this world,

and then mama, called to, a call

to protest, fire, glass, say their names, say

their names, white silence equals violence,

the violence of again, a militarized police

force teargassing, bullets, ricochet, and civil

unrest taking it, burning it down. Whatever

contacts keep us social compel us now

to disorder the disorder. Peace. We’re out

to repair the future. There’s and umbrella

by the door, not for yesterday but for the weather

that’s here. I say weather but I mean

a form of governing that deals out death

and names it living. I say weather but I mean

a November that won’t be held off. This time

nothing, no one forgotten. We are here for the storm

that’s storming because what’s taken matters.

 

MUSIC

Here’s the L.A. Philharmonic and L.A. Youth Orchestra, with Mezzo-Soprano J’Nai Bridges. It’s a socially distanced performance from the Hollywood Bowl (with cool visuals): https://www.laphil.com/about/watch-and-listen/jnai-bridges-with-dudamel-the-la-phil-and-yola

And Swan Lake with the L.A. Phil and Gustav Dudamel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRLeTziFsHs. It’s five minutes well spent.

Finally, this is Hozier, performing “Take me to Church” while sheltering-at-home: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-q0ELNbIFM&feature=emb_rel_pause

Happy weekend,

Glenn

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