Las Vegas, NV
May 20, 2020
Garrison Keillor hits Las Vegas with a new solo show!
April 18, 2020
Garrison Keillor comes to the Rochester Civic Theatre for a night of stories, songs, poetry, and humor. Tickets $50 and up
February 19, 2020
Garrison Keillor with Heather Masse at the Dakota. Night 2 of 2. Tickets $30+
February 18, 2020
Garrison Keillor with Heather Masse at the Dakota. Night 1 of 2. Tickets $30+
Time in the Grass
by W.S. Merwin
In a few fields the first hay is lying
naked in its new fragrance as its color fades
and no one has stayed to see the noon light
dappling the small growth in the shade of the trees
beside the meadows that are still untouched
where the spring grasses go on rippling
in the shimmering daylight of their lives
and the voles clad in velvet shadows
trickle through their feet under the whispers
of the tall world while the clear notes
of crickets on all sides call keep calling
to the world to stay just as it is
they go on calling even when the grass has gone
“Time in the Grass” by W.S. Merwin from The Moon Before Morning. © Copper Canyon Press, 2014. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)
The Treaty of Windsor, a diplomatic alliance between Portugal and England, was signed on this day in 1386. It is the oldest treaty still currently in effect in the world, establishing a pact of mutual support between the countries.
In 1386, England had no real navy and Portugal did, and they pledged each other to an alliance as England was threatened by France, and Portugal by Spain.
William Martin Joel, Billy Joel, was born this day in 1949, in the Bronx, New York. He wrote:
Some folks like to get away, take a holiday from the neighborhood
Hop a flight to Miami Beach or to Hollywood
But I’m talking a Greyhound on the Hudson River Line
I’m in a New York state of mind
It comes down to reality, and it’s fine with me ’cause I’ve let it slide
Don’t care if it’s Chinatown or on Riverside
I don’t have any reasons I left them all behind
I’m in a New York state of mind
It was on this day in 1994 that Nelson Mandela was elected first president of a democratic South Africa, having served 27 years in prison for his political opposition to apartheid government. People poured out into the streets to dance the toyi-toyi [pronounced “dooey-dooey”], and Mandela danced across the room with Coretta Scott King and said that South Africa was “free at last.”
It was on this day in 1941 that the German submarine U-110 was captured by British destroyers as it was attacking a convoy in the North Atlantic, just south of Iceland. The destroyer spotted the periscope and dropped depth charges. The submarine surfaced, the British boarded the sub, where they found a secret cipher machine, the Enigma, and they took it on board and let the submarine sink. The machine was taken to Bletchley Park, in Buckinghamshire, England where a team of thousands of codebreakers worked to decipher coded German messages. With the help of the Enigma, they managed to break the German naval code, which was a crucial turning point in the Battle of the Atlantic, and probably in the war itself.
It’s the birthday of poet Charles Simic born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia (1938). His family fled Eastern Europe after the war and wound up in Oak Park, Illinois. Simic went to the same high school Ernest Hemingway had gone to, and that inspired Simic to become a writer.
Simic published his first book of poetry, What the Grass Says, in 1967, and he went on to publish many more collections.
Charles Simic said: “If I believe in anything, it is in the dark night of the soul. Awe is my religion, and mystery is its church.”
And, “The plain truth is we are going to die. Here I am, a teeny spec surrounded by boundless space and time, arguing with the whole of creation, shaking my fist, sputtering, growing even eloquent at times, and then-poof! I am gone. Swept off once and for all. I think that is very, very funny.”
It’s the birthday of poet Joy Harjo, born in Tulsa, Oklahoma (1951) to a Muscogee Creek father and mixed-race mother. When she enrolled at age 19 as a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, she took her paternal grandmother’s last name of “Harjo.” She had a tough home life, with two abusive stepfathers, and at age 16 she moved to Sante Fe to go to art school, then went to the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.
Joy Harjo has published many collections of poetry, including She Had Some Horses (1983), In Mad Love and War (1990), How We Became Human (2002), and Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings (2015).
She said: “Remember that you are all people and that all people are you.”
And, “There is no separation. We are all from the same place. As long as there is respect and acknowledgement of connections, things continue working. When that stops we all die.”