Monday, June 9, 2014

Episode 32: The Discipline and Practice of Recitation: Rev. Dr. Gordon Postill

Rev. Dr. Gordon Postill shares his thoughts on the discipline and practice of recitation.

Poems recited on this podcast:

Otherwise by Jane Kenyon

I got out of bed
on two strong legs.
It might have been
otherwise.  I ate
cereal, sweet
milk, ripe, flawless
peach.  It might
have been otherwise.
I took the dog uphill
to the birch wood.
All morning I did
the work I love.

At noon I lay down
with my mate.  It might
have been otherwise.
We ate dinner together
at a table with silver
candlesticks.  It might
have been otherwise.
I slept in a bed
in a room with paintings
on the walls, and
planned another day
just like this day.
But one day, I know,
it will be otherwise.

Muktinath by David Whyte

Dawn at Muktinath
and I look through the window,
white mountains and the steady
slopes of snow,
cold scent of pine and the raven-call
of black birds
circling upward – toward nothing.

So the breath escapes the mouth
spiraling in a cold room,
so the words leave our lips,
the first line of a long poem
with no courage to finish.

This is the place the path begins,
the empty room beneath the breath
where everything we’ve broken
comes back to be repaired,
where bitterness returns, opens,
turns to a final sourness
on the lime-washed walls
and disappears.

This is the place we start again,
place sunburnt knuckles in moist eyes
and bow the head
feel the rough cold wall
on the forehead and weep.

This is the place we stop,
look up, lean out the window
and find the first signs of life.

Beneath us
a child is crying,
while above,
a tight arrow of driven ponies
points the way to the high pass.

Check out this episode!

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