Mar. 12th, 2012

coolerbythelake: (Default)
Quite an excellent mash-up of Stayin' Alive with Another Brick in the Wall

coolerbythelake: (Default)
I didn't mention it on here, but my neighbors have a party every year at the end of the Christmas season marking the last day of the twelve days of Christmas. It's called the Twelfth Night party, but they usually have it on a Saturday, so it is "Twelfth Night, Observed."

People are encouraged to bring musical instruments, recite poetry, sing carols (yeah, I'm late with this), etc. People also dress up - lots of people in costumes, people in drag, dresses, utilikilts . .

For this year's party, I recited this poem (yes, all of that poem) from memory. I learned it several years ago when I felt like I really needed it. I went through it a few times in the days leading up to the party, but it didn't take too long to come back to me. I would sometimes flip-flop lines in the second half of the poem, but could usually find my way back to the flow of things.

It's a long poem, and I'm not sure how it reads to just look at it on the page. It has a pace and rhythm to it when said out loud, though. I was nervous about reciting it because the people who spoke before me went through a humorous piece, but I got through it well, and people seemed to like it well enough.

I still say it to myself sometimes - while walking down the street or while laying in my bed. My favorite part is the part about the Greyhoud bus. And the part about Uncle Remus (he always comes up with the best names). The whole thing is pretty epic, though. And there is joy to it. It's not written or said from within problems - it's written or said standing outside of the problems. When he says, "You need something to make it known // That it's you and no one else that owns // That spot that yer standing, that space that you're sitting
That the world ain't got you beat
" . . . he's speaking to us where we are, to each of us. In the spots and spaces that we are in. The world ain't got us beat.

Some people kind of laughed when there was finally a reference to Woody Guthrie. I had mentioned that Bob recited the poem about three weeks prior to his 21st(!!) birthday - someone had asked him to write something about Woody Guthrie, like, "What does Woody Guthrie mean to you in 25 words," and he couldn't do it. He wrote that instead. I'm grateful that he did.

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Mar. 12th, 2012 11:15 pm
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I always had a warm spot for Kurt Vonnegut. I first encountered him via a book of quotations. The quotation said, "Be careful who you pretend to be. You are who you pretend to be."

I knew I had to read more from him after I read that.

Kurt Vonnegut on the Daily Show, 2005.

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