Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Paul Christensen: The Bluest Sky

He knew the rotting nature of poverty and the dull, disintegrating poison of lost hope. He had some of the dark anger of Walt Whitman, who could charm a winter tree back into bloom with his dreams and turn on his heels and find despair tearing at the entrails of the ordinary man.

January 21, 2021 · 1 Comment

Rachel Hadas: Tiger Stripes

Caught in a beam of morning sun,
massive transitions are going on,
each nation and each generation
vying for who will take possession
of the Hotel Anxiety

January 21, 2021 · Leave a comment

Kenny Stancil: Janet Yellen Bolsters Demand for Biden to Enact Bold FDR-Style Agenda

During her Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday, Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen endorsed progressives’ demand for Biden to pursue a bold and egalitarian relief, recovery, and reform program.

January 20, 2021 · 1 Comment

Liz Theoharis: The Nation Must Have the Moral Courage To Carry on the Work of Martin Luther King Jr.

Many have claimed that those rioters (and the president’s infamous “base” more generally) were all, in essence, poor, working-class white people. In reality, however, among those who have led such racist attacks are business leaders, executives, and multimillionaires.

January 19, 2021 · 3 Comments

Kathleen O’Toole: For Such a Time as This

The poet’s ability to inhabit the events, and actors, with King himself center stage, contribute to the power of this collection. Moreover, the questions these poems raise could not be more timely.

January 18, 2021 · 1 Comment

Pierre Tristam: No, Open Sedition Is Not a First Amendment Right

Making up facts and assaulting truth are hallmarks of the Trump cult.

January 17, 2021 · 2 Comments

Deborah Bogen: Bashō

Sweet friend, hear me. There will always be trouble.

January 17, 2021 · 2 Comments

George Yancy: Capitol Mob Reveals Ongoing Refusal to Accept Black Votes as Legitimate

Frederick Douglass embraced the promise of the Declaration, even while he condemned the United States as a land of hypocrisy, because people talk about freedom, but in fact they deprive millions of their freedom.

January 16, 2021 · 2 Comments

Video: The Nazi Officer’s Wife

Edith Hahn was an outspoken young woman in Vienna when the Gestapo forced her into a ghetto and then into a slave labor camp. When she returned home months later, she knew she would become a hunted woman and went underground. Then she met Werner Vetter, a Nazi Party member who fell in love with her.

January 16, 2021 · 4 Comments

Denise Levertov: Clouds

as if death had lit a pale light
in your flesh, your flesh
was cold to my touch, or not cold
but cool, cooling

January 15, 2021 · 2 Comments

Bill Moyers, Heather Cox Richardson: The Day the Confederate Flag Flew in the United States Capitol

What happened in the 1850s and what happened in the present are very similar in a number of ways, though the symbol of the insurrectionist Confederate army never flew in that nation’s capitol—not once—until January 6, 2021.

January 14, 2021 · 3 Comments

Stephen Dobyns: Wisdom

With the door shut the child sat in the closet
with his fingers pressed in his ears. Tell me
the truth, wasn’t it wisdom? Hadn’t he had
a sudden insight into the nature of the world?

January 14, 2021 · 2 Comments

John Edward Simms: The Populist

The citizens had become victims of a corrupt elite, The Man said, and that is why they could not succeed in society. The Man explained that the corrupt were parasites who sucked the life out of a strong people.

January 13, 2021 · 6 Comments

Lyndsey Stonebridge: The plague novel you need to read is by Bachmann, not Camus

What does it mean to live in the plague – every day, across generations and without an exit strategy?

January 12, 2021 · 4 Comments

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