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The Slowdown: Poetry & Reflection Daily

American Public Media

Poet Major Jackson is your guide on the pathways to feel and understand our common journey – through poetry. In sharing poems, we take a moment to pause and acknowledge the world’s magnitude, and how poets illuminate that mystery. Join The Slowdown for a poem and a moment of reflection in one short episode, every weekday. Produced by APM Studios in partnership with The Poetry Foundation and supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. Make us a part of your routine as you drink coffee in the morning, as you take a walk in nature, or as you wind down to go to sleep in the evening. With host Major Jackson, we collectively take a moment to calm, to inspire, to learn, and to engage with the best emerging poets and established writers of our time and generations past, from Emily Dickinson to Danez Smith, from Amanda Gorman to Mary Oliver. Listen to our back catalog for episodes by our previous hosts, Tracy K. Smith and Ada Limón, as well as guest hosts Jenny Xie, Brenda Shaughnessy, Tina Chang, Nate Marshall, Shira Erlichiman, and Jason Schneiderman. Our hosts and production team select poems that move them, and we hope they move you, too.

Location:

United States

Description:

Poet Major Jackson is your guide on the pathways to feel and understand our common journey – through poetry. In sharing poems, we take a moment to pause and acknowledge the world’s magnitude, and how poets illuminate that mystery. Join The Slowdown for a poem and a moment of reflection in one short episode, every weekday. Produced by APM Studios in partnership with The Poetry Foundation and supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. Make us a part of your routine as you drink coffee in the morning, as you take a walk in nature, or as you wind down to go to sleep in the evening. With host Major Jackson, we collectively take a moment to calm, to inspire, to learn, and to engage with the best emerging poets and established writers of our time and generations past, from Emily Dickinson to Danez Smith, from Amanda Gorman to Mary Oliver. Listen to our back catalog for episodes by our previous hosts, Tracy K. Smith and Ada Limón, as well as guest hosts Jenny Xie, Brenda Shaughnessy, Tina Chang, Nate Marshall, Shira Erlichiman, and Jason Schneiderman. Our hosts and production team select poems that move them, and we hope they move you, too.

Language:

English


Episodes
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1121: The Empire of Light by Michael Dumanis

5/20/2024
Today’s poem is The Empire of Light by Michael Dumanis. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes… “Today’s poem reveals how poets distinctly process the world. A fragmented mix of images might reflect how we naturally think. Spontaneity defines our lyricism, and its pleasure is its speed.” Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

Duration:00:05:57

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1120: Monet Refuses the Operation by Lisel Mueller

5/17/2024
Today’s poem is Monet Refuses the Operation by Lisel Mueller. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes… “Poets and visual artists work to give representation to the world which shimmers and blurs. Sometimes only impressions are available. Rather than a fidelity to things as they are, we desire to represent those very distortions. Today’s dramatic monologue is a gem of a poem, one that reminds how everything around us is divined with light, even our imperfections.” Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

Duration:00:06:20

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1119: A Black Doe in the Anthropocene by Artress Bethany White

5/16/2024
Today’s poem is A Black Doe in the Anthropocene by Artress Bethany White. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes… “Here is my ignorance; I thought we settled the matter of the “Anthropocene” a long time ago. Isn’t there enough conclusive evidence? Wars, loss of biodiversity, overpopulation, endangered species, deforestation, earth warming, greenhouse gasses, the production of nonbiodegradable materials, nuclear waste that further threatens wildlife, human beings, and agricultural lands. But, as one scientist noted, “Human impact goes much deeper into geological time.”” Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

Duration:00:06:08

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1118: At My Funeral by Hélène Cardona

5/15/2024
Today’s poem is At My Funeral by Hélène Cardona. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes… “Ultimately, we do not know the experience of dying. We can only imagine. Artists, though, have fun playing with the mystery of what happens when we transition to no longer walking the earth in the flesh. From the Jerry Zucker movie “Ghost” to Dylan Thomas’s poem “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night,” I have found special comfort in works that find a boldness in facing the inevitable.” Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

Duration:00:05:16

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1117: I Am Waiting by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

5/14/2024
Today’s poem is I Am Waiting by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes… “On a Saturday morning group Zoom call, I wore my Philadelphia Phillies cap. A friend almost choked on his coffee, confusing my red hat for a MAGA hat. It made for a funny exchange, where I unapologetically claimed my belief in the ideals of America, but, no . . . I am a different kind of patriot. America is defined by its belief in equality, freedom, liberty, opportunity, and justice, but maybe even more by its betrayal of those principles and then its struggle to recommit to values we hold self-evident.” Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

Duration:00:06:26

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1116: Mercy by Dessa

5/13/2024
Today’s poem is Mercy by Dessa. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes… “I never took to the attitude of I’ll show them. It concedes that those people, people who did not think enough of me to take care of my feelings, are still in my life, in an unhealthy manner, subconsciously controlling my actions. My success is not going to suddenly prove me worthy of love in their eyes. Will they have thought better of that moment when they scarred me? Maybe. Will they think me more intelligent than they initially granted? Possibly. But, truth is, I am healed when I no longer care to have their acceptance or validation.” Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

Duration:00:05:59

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1115: Frame Six by Cheswayo Mphanza

5/10/2024
Today’s poem is Frame Six by Cheswayo Mphanza. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes… “Occasionally, I experience a psychological disconnection between my work, my life, and the world. Finding myself not home, again, my spirit was trending a Willy Loman aesthetic. A ‘disassociation of self’ often reminds me I am due for a reboot.” Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

Duration:00:05:57

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1114: The Mothers by Jill Bialosky

5/9/2024
Today’s poem is The Mothers by Jill Bialosky. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes… “Today’s poem beautifully captures those complex emotions of watching our children emerge into themselves — and its threat to our identity.” Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

Duration:00:05:29

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1113: Egrets, While War by Tishani Doshi

5/8/2024
Today’s poem is Egrets, While War by Tishani Doshi. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes… “Today’s compelling poem honors the ancient and indomitable essence of human beings who continue on even in the face of tragedy, who crossover into the perfect fullness of their truth and emotions.” Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

Duration:00:06:24

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1112: Sl(e)ight by Alice White

5/7/2024
Today’s poem is Sl(e)ight by Alice White. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes… “We recognize the vulnerability in children. Our natural impulse is to protect them from the troubles and potential harms that will come their way, knowing that suffering is an inevitable part of their journey. For this reason, the speaker in today’s poem is on alert, like any parent, knowing that the tricks of the world, and of people, disguise the most horrid possibilities.” Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

Duration:00:06:46

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1111: The Nation by Roy Fisher

5/6/2024
Today’s poem is The Nation by Roy Fisher. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes… “It’s important for us to avoid what Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka once phrased as “saline consciousness,” that is, the belief that only what lies within our boundaries is worth noticing. We can roam beyond our familiar provinces. Today’s poem satirizes a vision of nationhood that only sees itself in relation to the known and all that has been sanctioned.” Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

Duration:00:05:23

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1110: Blue Hour by Chanda Feldman

5/3/2024
Today’s poem is Blue Hour by Chanda Feldman. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes… “Although about the birth of a child, what I love about today’s poem is how it parallels my growing sense of care for natural environments. When my children were born, their bodies demanded a softness from my body, not to mention a constant attention.” Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

Duration:00:06:09

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1109: Never Did Say So by Caridad Moro-Gronlier

5/2/2024
Today’s poem is Never Did Say So by Caridad Moro-Gronlier. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes… “Today’s poem explores the depths of its speaker by applying the lyrics of an iconic artist who gets that indomitable spirit of smart, independent women.” Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

Duration:00:05:50

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1108: Life on Earth by Dorianne Laux

5/1/2024
Today’s poem is Life on Earth by Dorianne Laux. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes… “Poems buttress me against the hurt and the harm and the uncertainty of life itself. I fear that the global conflicts we’re witnessing are negatively impacting the health and mental wellbeing of people who are susceptible to the frailty of this moment. I read poetry profusely during times like these.” Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

Duration:00:06:13

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1107: Accessory to War by Kim Stafford

4/30/2024
Today’s poem is Accessory to War by Kim Stafford. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes… “Today’s sobering poem lands a powerful reminder: that even when we adhere to a belief against war, even when we wish not to collude in acts of aggression, in a powerful nation as ours, mere citizenship implicates us.” Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

Duration:00:05:43

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1106: Life In The Gush Of Boasts by Elijah Burrell

4/29/2024
Today’s poem is Life In The Gush Of Boasts by Elijah Burrell. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes… “Most writers are not “All eyes on me,” but the psychology of the social media “like” and “follower” becomes validation, it seems, between books.” Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

Duration:00:05:56

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1105: Self-Portrait with Tumbling and Lasso by Eduardo C. Corral

4/26/2024
Today’s poem is Self-Portrait with Tumbling and Lasso by Eduardo C. Corral. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes… "These days, we are loving reading and writing self-portrait poems, what I call the “verbal selfie.” It allows the author to be the runway, to elevate themselves into the frame of language. In so doing, the poet, like the author of today’s poem, experiments with perceptions of the self. I like how the poet in Rembrandt-fashion mythologizes himself in the lyric.” Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

Duration:00:06:40

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1104: Black Book of Creation by Shanta Lee Gander

4/25/2024
Today’s poem is Black Book of Creation by Shanta Lee Gander. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes… “Today’s poem builds on the belief that imagining is a kind of magic and time travel, that listening to the soil and all the voices within is a monumental way into both history, and our future.” Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

Duration:00:06:49

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1103: Chaos Theory by Clint Smith

4/24/2024
Today’s poem is Chaos Theory by Clint Smith. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes… “Occasionally, I try to follow the series of decisions that led me to this present, however triumphant or painful. My life wavers between fate and destiny. But then again, poetry brings me to the belief that some mysterious force is at work, below, that unveils a spiritually deeper meaning to it all." Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

Duration:00:06:27

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1102: How to Be a Good Savage by Mikeas Sánchez, translated by Wendy Call and Shook

4/23/2024
Today’s poem is How to Be a Good Savage by Mikeas Sánchez, translated by Wendy Call and Shook. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes… "Today’s poem ironizes the lens through which the colonizer sees Indigenous peoples as uncivilized. It is a horrible term that diminishes a people’s humanity and ascribes assimilation as the cure of a presumed inferiority. It is an example of a poem that my friend Willie Perdomo describes as a poetry of “decolonial practice.”" Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

Duration:00:04:54