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+
by Wyatt Prunty
We saw the birds jockeying for the feeder.
Inside, the networks fed us New Year’s Day.
And then there was the snow, in thick raw blots
Down past a row of windows where it caught,
Turning the sills to ridges, as outside
The streets, houses, and yards thickened
From their named and numbered ways into
A watercolor unreadably white . . .
And all the while the manic snow descending,
Sometimes glazed against a pane but mostly
Falling from itself into itself
Under a low, bruised, and indefinite sky . . .
Until the things I watched to measure change,
A recent stump, raised flower beds, porch steps —
Had disappeared, with the snow still falling
And the gray January light fading,
Fusing the trees and houses in one shade . . .
Suddenly a shadow now, beyond the glass
That mirrored us with looking out,
Ourselves out there, watches and rings reversed —
As reporters had the years reversed,
We said, looking out, seeing us looking in.
Later, the snow stopped and clouds cleared,
Our local ceiling shrank to absolute.
Standing outside, we swayed with gazing up,
Swayed because the stars were high and deep,
How odd that something overhead was deep,
And still the snow’s thick watercolor white.
And then there were the brisk good-byes —
Closing an afternoon and evening spent
In the snow’s knee-deep and numberless house,
Where, the usual wishes being said,
The door left standing wide, its angled light
Fanning the stalled abandoned plow,
We let the buried street run on ahead,
As following our shadows from the porch,
We stepped out of the light into our whitened way.
Wyatt Prunty, “Cold Watercolor” from The Run of the House. © 1993 The Johns Hopkins University Press. Reprinted with permission of Johns Hopkins University Press. (buy now)
Robert Frost’s poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” was published in The New Republic magazine on this day in 1923. He called it, “My best bid for remembrance.” It is one of the best-known and loved poems in all of American literature.
Right before he wrote it, Frost stayed up all night working on a different poem called “New Hampshire.” He’d never worked all night on a poem before, and he was feeling pretty good about that, and so he went outside to watch the sunrise. It was the middle of June and there was no snow in sight.
He suddenly got an idea there, and rushed back in and wrote “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” almost without lifting his pen from the page. He said of the experience, “It was as if I’d had a hallucination.”
Frost said poetry could make you “remember what you didn’t know you knew.”
“Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” ends:
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
On this day in 1994, 27 years ago, the Supreme Court ruled that parody can be protected by the fair-use clause of the Copyright Act of 1976. The ruling came about when the rap group 2 Live Crew used elements from “Oh Pretty Woman” by Roy Orbison in their song “Pretty Woman.”
Orbison’s song is about a man’s desire for a pretty woman he sees walking down the street. The 2 Live Crew version uses the same guitar riffs and melody, but the relationship has advanced, or rather deteriorated, as she is now a hairy woman, a bald-headed woman, and a two-timing woman.
The music publishing company that owns Orbison’s song sued Luther Campbell, the head of 2 Live Crew, for copyright violation, saying he used too much of the original work and gained commercially from it. Campbell argued that he had fair use and the Supreme Court agreed.
Bruce Rogow, the attorney who argued for Luther Campbell, said, “the case stands for the principle that there must be breathing room for artists to create new works,” and Supreme Court Justice David Souter wrote, “Like less ostensibly humorous forms of criticism, [parody] can provide social benefit by shedding light on an earlier work and, in the process, creating a new one.”
It’s the anniversary of the first March from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama (1965), known as “Bloody Sunday.” Six hundred civil rights activists left Selma to march the 54 miles to the state capitol, demonstrating for African-American voting rights. They got six blocks before state and local lawmen attacked them with billy clubs and tear gas.
ABC News interrupted a Nazi war crimes documentary to show footage of the violence. In the blink of a television set, national public opinion about civil rights shifted. Demonstrations broke out across the country.
Two weeks later, the March from Selma made it to Montgomery, led by Dr. Martin Luther King, federal court protection, and these words from President Lyndon Johnson: “There is no issue of States rights or national rights. There is only the struggle for human rights.” When they got to Montgomery, they were 25,000 strong.
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