The Slowdown: Poetry & Reflection Daily-logo

The Slowdown: Poetry & Reflection Daily

American Public Media

Poet Major Jackson is your guide on the pathways to feel and understand our common journey – through poetry. In sharing poems, we take a moment to pause and acknowledge the world’s magnitude, and how poets illuminate that mystery. Join The Slowdown for a poem and a moment of reflection in one short episode, every weekday. Produced by APM Studios in partnership with The Poetry Foundation and supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. Make us a part of your routine as you drink coffee in the morning, as you take a walk in nature, or as you wind down to go to sleep in the evening. With host Major Jackson, we collectively take a moment to calm, to inspire, to learn, and to engage with the best emerging poets and established writers of our time and generations past, from Emily Dickinson to Danez Smith, from Amanda Gorman to Mary Oliver. Listen to our back catalog for episodes by our previous hosts, Tracy K. Smith and Ada Limón, as well as guest hosts Jenny Xie, Brenda Shaughnessy, Tina Chang, Nate Marshall, Shira Erlichiman, and Jason Schneiderman. Our hosts and production team select poems that move them, and we hope they move you, too.

Location:

United States

Description:

Poet Major Jackson is your guide on the pathways to feel and understand our common journey – through poetry. In sharing poems, we take a moment to pause and acknowledge the world’s magnitude, and how poets illuminate that mystery. Join The Slowdown for a poem and a moment of reflection in one short episode, every weekday. Produced by APM Studios in partnership with The Poetry Foundation and supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. Make us a part of your routine as you drink coffee in the morning, as you take a walk in nature, or as you wind down to go to sleep in the evening. With host Major Jackson, we collectively take a moment to calm, to inspire, to learn, and to engage with the best emerging poets and established writers of our time and generations past, from Emily Dickinson to Danez Smith, from Amanda Gorman to Mary Oliver. Listen to our back catalog for episodes by our previous hosts, Tracy K. Smith and Ada Limón, as well as guest hosts Jenny Xie, Brenda Shaughnessy, Tina Chang, Nate Marshall, Shira Erlichiman, and Jason Schneiderman. Our hosts and production team select poems that move them, and we hope they move you, too.

Language:

English


Episodes

971: On Mars

9/29/2023
Today’s poem is On Mars by Ariana Benson. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes… “I’ve come to believe our galaxy serves as a destination for our imaginations; it inspires our conjecture about the universe; it is where we land all of our queries about the meaning and origins of life, where we construct narratives that give us solace.” Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

Duration:00:07:00

970: Ungendered 2

9/28/2023
Today’s poem is Ungendered 2 by Kwame Sound Daniels. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes… “Today’s poem rightly resists labels that limit our lived experiences, and rallies for us setting our own terms for how we are viewed in society.” Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

Duration:00:06:03

969: Us

9/27/2023
Today’s poem is Us by Zaffar Kunial. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes… “Since moving to the quaint village of Rochester, I come to expect visible signs of welcome everywhere. What matters in life is that space between us, formulated by philosopher Martin Buber as I-Thou. It’s a sacred space of shared existence where we feel each other’s uniqueness and feel our common humanity. Today’s attentive poem fosters a consciousness in which we view our lives as more in relation to each other, as close as two small letters.” Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

Duration:00:06:00

968: The Long Goodbye

9/26/2023
Today’s poem is The Long Goodbye by Diana Whitney. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes… “Today’s poem spotlights a multigenerational family, where the daily demands of domestic and long-term care are challenging enough, but at the center is the familial promise of unconditional love.” Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

Duration:00:05:56

967: Ode to Purple Summer

9/25/2023
Today’s poem is Ode to Purple Summer by Sabrina Benaim. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes… “For me, the pendulum swing that is emotional health deprives me of the world’s splendor. The hummingbird flitting about the garden is no longer enchanting to me, a bite of a perfect brick oven pizza is just food, mere nourishment, not a crispy, aromatic experience of basil, tomato sauce, mozzarella on its way to becoming a culinary memory. Planning travel to other countries feels burdensome with all the flight preparation and itinerary building. I lose my sense of excitement. Yet, when I come out of my despair or have figured things out with the help of friends and family, I am more alive than ever, rendered new, painfully so. My synesthesia kicks in. I want to explore.” Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

Duration:00:05:32

[encore] 806: Polycardial

9/22/2023
Today’s poem is Polycardial by James Hoch. This episode was originally released on February 3, 2023. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes… “Today’s poem, is a sort of sentimental journey which ponders that tenderness of our youth, when it seems like our hunger for love and touch and connection peak. The poem realizes, too, that perhaps we eventually lose the ability to feel with such depth and intensity.” Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

Duration:00:07:18

[encore] 822: Cricket Song

9/21/2023
Today’s poem is Cricket Song by George Kalogeris. This episode was originally released on February 27, 2023. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes… “At times, no words exist to capture our rapid, forward-marching world. Life outpaces language. It is then we attempt to create fresh language or rinse cycle words until we have a new purchase on old concepts. For example, for about a decade, I’ve been trying to formulate a word that explains the phenomenon of contagious yawning. It’s a thing and I’m haunted by this lack in our speech. It is what leads me to sing.” Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

Duration:00:05:46

[encore] 804: Foxglove

9/20/2023
Today’s poem is Foxglove by Ambalila Hemsell. This episode was originally released on February 1, 2023. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes… “In today’s brilliant poem, the speaker wrestles with the self-perception of how our hungers as humans nascently contribute to the disruption of the natural world, and whether or not we have proprietary rights to those natural places.” Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

Duration:00:07:07

[encore] 870: Hymn to Church Basements

9/19/2023
Today’s poem is Hymn to Church Basements by Joan Kwon Glass. This episode was originally released on May 4, 2023. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes… “Today’s poem exalts the unadorned spaces where those on the journey to recovery find acceptance and community.” Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

Duration:00:06:34

[encore] 812: September

9/18/2023
Today’s poem is September by Nathaniel Perry. This episode was originally released on February 13, 2023. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes… “Today’s gorgeous poem invokes the enigmatic energy of an impending storm, the kind that mesmerizes, that beckons us to read the symbolism of nature, that points to both destruction and life.” Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

Duration:00:06:58

966: Love Poem, with Birds

9/15/2023
Love Poem, with Birds by Barbara Kingsolver. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes… “Today’s poem gives voice to the intimidating feeling of competing with a partner’s personal passion. However begrudgingly we come around to their idiosyncratic awarenesses, such an intense engagement is exactly what attracts us in the end.” Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

Duration:00:06:05

965: from "Excess Sonnets"

9/14/2023
Today’s poem is from "Excess Sonnets" by Isabel Prioleau. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes… “Today’s poem dramatizes the vulnerability of our most extreme emotions as revealed on various platforms, such that no layered extravagance of mystery exists between us.” Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

Duration:00:05:54

964: abundance of light

9/13/2023
Today’s poem is abundance of light by erica lewis. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes… “I hear in today’s poem a haunting, reckoning, and nostalgia – dominant themes among poets on the road. On stages and podiums, we traded poems about heartbreak, childhood memories, and personal loss. What emerges is a triumphant questioning spirit that overcomes grief and uncertainty.” Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

Duration:00:05:52

963: Frederick Douglass

9/12/2023
Today’s poem is Frederick Douglass by Robert Hayden. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes… “Today’s monumental poem keeps alive the fighting spirit of one of the great minds of the 19th century, whose eloquent speeches and books brought into focus freedoms we sometimes take for granted.” Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

Duration:00:06:03

962: Afternoon in Andalusia

9/11/2023
Today’s poem is Afternoon in Andalusia by Sahar Romani. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes… “Today’s poem also provides us with a sense of how the mind and heart make from symbols and patterns a space beyond our reach, where we fleetingly glimpse, if not encounter, the divine.” Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

Duration:00:04:57

961: Nocturne

9/8/2023
Today’s poem is Nocturne by Oliver Baez Bendorf. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes… “In young adulthood, long before children, jobs, home ownership, my evenings felt like a blank canvas of cultural and spiritual possibility. I felt a joyous connection to all around me, artists and writers and musicians, thinkers and believers, both living and departed, alive in their pursuit of beauty and knowledge. I was starving and knew it. On South Street, one bookstore stayed open till midnight. Many nights I closed it down, sitting in a corner reading a paperback, a beer in my pocket or a cup of coffee in my hand. At some point, I knew I needed to make art, to move to celebrating the world’s loveliness. I was perpetually hungry to do so.” Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

Duration:00:06:28

960: I’m Nobody! Who are you? (260)

9/7/2023
Today’s poem is I’m Nobody! Who are you? (260) by Emily Dickinson. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes… “Today’s popular poem encourages a kind of disappearance from life rather than a need for attention. Cosmologically speaking, there’s a virtue in acknowledging one’s insignificance, maybe, too, in instigating others to enjoy the pause of anonymity and quietness of being." Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

Duration:00:05:09

959: On Earth

9/6/2023
Today’s poem is On Earth by Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes… “After my last heartbreak, before I even tried to enter into a new relationship, my friend Victoria noted how she and I never give up on love, which we both know is not found in any one person, but an aspirational state two people can achieve when they partner on an authentic journey together. Although the insidious and unprocessed hurts from past relationships threaten to work their way into our daily interactions, a new love is an invitation to get it right in this lifetime.” Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

Duration:00:05:03

958: Alain Locke in Stoughton Hall

9/5/2023
Today’s poem is Alain Locke in Stoughton Hall by John Keene. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes… “Today’s dramatic monologue reminds me that poets are also archivists, storytellers who celebrate the past. We go beyond our self as subject matter to become humanity’s finest chroniclers.” Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

Duration:00:06:25

957: Rooms by the Sea

9/4/2023
Today’s poem is Rooms by the Sea by Lauren Aliza Green. The Slowdown is your daily poetry ritual. In this episode, Major writes… “My early adult years were a stream of impulsive decisions. Some worked out and many did not — for example, the used car with the too-good-to-be-true price tag, as well as my brief career as an accountant. The speaker in today’s poem also realizes our best laid plans are often thwarted by unforeseen consequences. Some decisions work out, some do not. Even well-reasoned choices are not guaranteed to bring our wishes within reach, especially when it comes to love.” Celebrate the power of poems with a gift to The Slowdown today. Every donation makes a difference: https://tinyurl.com/rjm4synp

Duration:00:05:38