Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Video: Daybreak Express

D A Pennebaker, who died recently, transformed documentary filmmaking. This is his first film. [running time: 5 minutes]

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Virginia Woolf: Becoming an Artist

Hamlet or a Beethoven quartet is the truth about this vast mass that we call the world. But there is no Shakespeare, there is no Beethoven; certainly and emphatically there is no God; we are the words; we are the music; we are the thing itself.

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William J. Astore: In Wars and Weapons We Trust

We believe in wars. We may no longer believe in formal declarations of war (not since December 1941 has Congress made one in our name), but that sure hasn’t stopped us from waging them.

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Naomi Shihab Nye: To Netanyahu

My Palestinian father named his donkey after you…
Now I think he insulted the donkey.

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Michael Simms: On the Spectrum with Garrison Keillor

Many of the issues people have had with Keillor’s behavior through the years may have been caused by his autism.

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Danusha Laméris: Small Kindnesses

For the waitress
to call us honey when she sets down the bowl of clam chowder,
and for the driver in the red pick-up truck to let us pass.
We have so little of each other, now.

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Tracy Matsue Loeffelholz: What an American Terrorist Looks Like

Despite racist and anti-immigrant scapegoating, data shows that most American terrorists are resentful White men inspired by White supremacist and misogynist rhetoric.

August 15, 2019 · Leave a comment

Jose Padua: Around the Corner from the Neighborhood Convenience Store and Four Thousand Miles from the Streets of Barcelona

the good ole boy,
sitting up high in
his pickup truck
and smiling smugly

August 15, 2019 · 1 Comment

Jon Queally: Leaked Draft of Trump Executive Order to Censor the Internet Denounced as Dangerous Unconstitutional Edict

If the government doesn’t like the way a private company is moderating content, they can shut down their entire website.

August 14, 2019 · Leave a comment

Joan E. Bauer: For Auden — Circling Toward Home

Art, you claimed: born of humiliation.
You knew that early & you had the gift
of double focus, of seeing the world
with more than one lens.

August 14, 2019 · Leave a comment

Christine Skarbek: Oh, Poland!

My buddy Yolanta invited me over to Park Café to listen to this wizard on the piano, a 17-yr old skinny fellow. I cannot tell you how thin this character was or, for that matter, how long and tapered his fingers and what a master he was at the ivories.

August 13, 2019 · Leave a comment

Sydney Lea: I Was Thinking Of Beauty

I was thinking of beauty
as something that will return–here’s Curtis Porter’s sweet horn–
outlasting our disputations.

August 13, 2019 · Leave a comment

Steven Rosenfeld: Leading Civil Rights Lawyer Shows 20 Ways Trump Is Copying Hitler’s Early Rhetoric and Policies

We’re used to thinking of Hitler’s Third Reich as the incomparably evil tyranny that it undoubtedly was. But Hitler didn’t take power by force. He used a set of rhetorical tropes codified in Trump’s bedside reading that persuaded enough Germans to welcome Hitler as a populist leader.

August 12, 2019 · Leave a comment

Molly Fisk: That Kind of Woman

We try them on as subjects, our mythical forebears,
wondering who we are: Penelope. Persephone. Eve.
Eurydice. Sleeping Beauty, Cassandra, Ophelia, Cinderella.
Barbie.

August 12, 2019 · 2 Comments

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