Borrowing From PCHH: Things That Are Making Me Happy (Poetry Edition)

I love podcasts and one of my favorite podcasts I discovered through my friend and colleague (Thanks, Janet!). It is called Pop Culture Happy Hour (PCHH) and it’s an NPR podcast about all things pop culture. At the end of every podcast, the lovely host, Linda Holmes, asks the panel “What is making you happy this week?” The answers are always varied and interesting. I decided to take a cue from them and give you “Things That Making Me Happy” (Poetry Edition).

1. Whitman Illuminated: Song of Myself by Allen Crawford. If you love Whitman, you must buy this book. If you love books, you must buy this book. If you love beautiful art, you must buy this book. If you love Tin House, then you must buy this book. In short? You must buy this book. As I said in my Facebook post, “look at all the beautiful! I could take a picture of every page!” Seriously. I’ve shown this book to everyone I know. I’ve tweeted about it. I’ve posted on FB. Now I am blogging about it. Buy this book. Right now.
One of my favorite illustrations from Whitman Illuminated: Song of Myself by Allen Crawford

2. Twitter. This is in reference to my rediscovered love for networking with poets and lit journals on Twitter. There is so much interesting, inspiring and downright cool stuff going on in the poetry/literary world and I think Twitter is a fine forum to take in all that coolness. Come find me @BriPike

 3. Poetry Online. I love that when I open up my email in the morning I have poems waiting from The Academy of American Poetry, Poetry Daily & Linebreak. Access to new poets and the ability to revisit established poets is one of my favorite things about the point where poetry and the internet converge.

4. My recent order of Marion McCready’s Tree Language. I’ve been looking forward to this book since I read some of her work in Poetry. Can’t wait for it to get here.

5. A new round of submissions out for the summer and a chance to spend some time on New Pages and read their excellent lit mag reviews.

Friday (walking) Musings

This is the second Friday that I’ve gotten up early and gone for a walk on the Monon (a trail here in Indy). I don’t know why I didn’t start doing this earlier in the summer, because it is really good for my head. I feel better and it gives me a chance to get out and commune with nature. I like morning the best out of all the times in the day. There is always a strong sense of renewal.

“And I believe that poetry is an action, ephemeral or solemn. in which there enter as equal partners solitude and solidarity, emotion and action, the nearness to oneself, the nearness to mankind and to the secret manifestations of nature.”

Pablo Neruda

I heard this story on NPR this morning on the way home from my walk and I almost started weeping in my car. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a bit of an emotional basket case, but there is something about hearing a grown man on the verge of tears:

Mendoza, 65, looks like a man who’s spent his life on a ranch. He drives a mud-spattered pickup; he wears thick rubber boots and filthy jeans. But he doesn’t look like a guy who will cry when he talks about selling off his herd.