April is #NPM17 - National Poetry Month.
"Always be a poet, even in prose."
Poetic things of interest:
See Irene Latham's Progressive Poem's schedule on the page above.
If you'd like to see what everyone is doing for Poetry Month, look HERE at Jama Rattigan's post at Jama's Alphabet Soup.
My goal for Poetry Month: TINY THINGS. My point of view may surprise you, but I'm excited to write, share, and read how everyone writes to meet their special goals for celebrating poetry month. Here is my poem today, connected to music, and especially Pete Seeger.
wrapped in poetry,
Linda Baie © All Rights Reserved
I am old enough to remember well the hard, hard times during the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam war protests, Pete Seeger's songs were a huge part of those times, and the book I'm sharing tells of those times and what Pete strove for before the nineteen-sixties. My husband and I took our children to see Pete sometime in the eighties. It was a small venue in Denver and we were on the front row. Pete came down and sang to our kids, a magical moment. He has also connected to Peter, Paul & Mary, sang with them so many times especially during the Civil Rights' Movement and at the Freedom March with Dr. King. Peter Yarrow writes an introduction to this book.
The book can serve as an introduction to Pete Seeger's long and influential life. His early upbringing was influenced by his social activist father and stepmother. He ended in boarding school when his parents divorced and learned early about censorship and that sometimes people didn't want to tell the truth. All along this time he was practicing the banjo, had also learned early that music can both inspire and bring people together.
Each page in Susanna Reich's story about Pete brings a new view, a new event that makes you want to research for more. Pete married, bought a bit of land and built a log cabin. He wasn't there often but traveled and sang. For a long time, he and his wife were poor. In the earlier years, speaking up for union workers and for the rights of African Americans caused him to be put on the blacklist. He was never hired to sing, never asked to perform on television for a long time. During that time, he adapted an old song he had heard in Tennessee and shared it with Dr. King. That song gave the movement their anthem, "We Shall Overcome." You can find part of the story here (my research). Illustrations by Adam Gustavson add to the parts of Pete's story told on each page. They are realistic and vibrant portraits of Pete's constant excitement for life and what music and doing the right thing meant to him.
The final part of the book tells of Pete's extraordinary last act, building his boat, Clearwater, begun first to inspire still one more movement, cleaning up the Hudson River.
Some may remember Pete leading 400,000 people singing "This Land Is Your Land" at the Lincoln Memorial when President Obama was inaugurated.
There is an author's note, source notes for quotes used and additional sources.
Here's one of my favorites during the Vietnam war protests.
picture - photo credit: Brandon Giesbrecht Music via photopin (license)