Anthology: Poems on Modern Life (new episode)

Human Voices Wake Us

18-04-2024 • 56 mins

An episode from 4/17/24: Tonight, I read a handful of poems on modern life—whatever “modern” might mean in words spanning the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries. In many of the poems we hear the complaint of every age, that “the world has never been so bad.” In others, descriptions of the suburbs are enough, or of car culture, or of how we get our news or even begin to live with stories of atrocity and war. Some poems ask us to pay attention to the work and details of everyday life, others wonder if we shouldn’t look to past poets for wisdom and guidance. If a “modern” mindset means anything, it seems to mean proliferation and flux, a sense of not being settled. The poems I read are:

  • Lawrence Ferlinghetti (1919-2021), “In Goya’s greatest scenes”
  • Kathleen Jamie (1962- ), “The Way We Live”
  • Laurie Sheck (1953- ), “Headlights”
  • Derek Mahon (1941-2020), “A Disused Shed in Co. Wexford”
  • Ted Kooser (1939- ), “Late February”
  • Philip Larkin (1922-1985), “Here”
  • Robinson Jeffers (1887-1962), “New Mexican Mountain”
  • T. E. Hulme (1883-1917), “Image”
  • Edgar Lee Masters (1868-1950), “Editor Whedon”
  • Walt Whitman (1819-1892), “The blab of the pave”
  • William Wordsworth (1770-1850), “London 1802”
  • Mary Robinson (1758-1800), “A London Summer Morning”
  • Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), “A Description of the Morning”
  • William Shakespeare (1564-1616), “The queen, my lord, is dead”
  • R. S. Thomas (1913-2000), “Suddenly”

You can support Human Voices Wake Us here, or by ordering any of my books: Notes from the Grid, To the House of the Sun, The Lonely Young & the Lonely Old, and Bone Antler Stone. I’ve also edited a handful of books in the S4N Pocket Poems series.

Email me at humanvoiceswakeus1@gmail.com.

--- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/humanvoiceswakeus/message Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/humanvoiceswakeus/support

You Might Like

The Moth
The Moth
The Moth
Myths and Legends
Myths and Legends
Jason Weiser, Carissa Weiser, Nextpod
99% Invisible
99% Invisible
Roman Mars
You Beauty
You Beauty
Mamamia Podcasts
McCartney: A Life in Lyrics
McCartney: A Life in Lyrics
iHeartPodcasts and Pushkin Industries
Fantasy Fangirls
Fantasy Fangirls
Fantasy Fangirls
Dish
Dish
S:E Creative Studio
Something Rhymes with Purple
Something Rhymes with Purple
Sony Music Entertainment
Audiobooks 🎧
Audiobooks 🎧
Best Audiobooks by The Book Guide®
The Allusionist
The Allusionist
Helen Zaltzman
Yowie Central
Yowie Central
Sarah Bignell