Friday, April 18, 2008

the circle game

He drew a circle that shut me out—
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle that took him in!
Edwin Markham (1852-1840) poet & activist

last night I had the marvelous good fortune to attend a performance of the qawwals of pakistan, a troupe of musical artists who perform sufi devotional music. unfortunately only 4 of the 9 individuals in the troupe were provided visas to enter the country. but the show went on and it was incredible - transcendent, rocking, and pure joy!

the program notes include this statement: "The group feels that their music brings harmony and peace to the soul and projects the message of love and unity for all." pretty ironic that the officials making decisions about issuing visas were clueless about what these artists are all about!

anyway, this all had me thinking of inclusion and exclusion which led me to think about edwin markham's wonderful poem.

speaking of poetry, today on the bill moyers journal website there is a treasure trove of information celebrating national poetry month. I discovered that I missed the segment on walt whitman which aired monday on american experience. no need to despair - the marvels of the internet allows anyone to be able to watch it (in segments)! my gosh how cool is that! click here to view the walt whitman program

joni singing the circle game

photo: children's hands at play - nyc, 1 april 2008


Barbara said...

Walt Whitman often found himself outside the circle during his life. I wonder if he ever imagined how much we would come to treasure his writings.

Steve Reed said...

How strange that some of them got visas and some didn't. How arbitrary.

I love Joni. :)

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

I'm going to check out that website now. You always have such a lovely choice when you add poetry to your posts. That's a poem I really like and keep a copy of in my book of favourite poems.

Bobby D. said...

I marvel at all the places you've been going in the past 30 days--since I have been unable--even today I went out to meet friends for coffee and today's damp chill must have brought on the bronchial pain/coughing -- they said I should go home and rest-But I want to be out and about! -it feels like it's taking forever.

Gary said...

Kimy, this is such a fantastic shot of the kids playing that slap the hand game. I hope to see all of the amazing and incredible pics you took that day. You make me smile with you artistry.