poem

  In our Ideas Matter segment we take time just about every week to check in with the state humanities councils in our 7-state region.

Today we check in with Connecticut Humanities to discuss why poetry is important in today's society. Does teaching poetry in our schools really matter in this era of STEM and standardized testing?

We are joined today by Scott Wands, Manager of Grants at Connecticut Humanities who manages Poetry Out Loud in Connecticut, and Susan Ballek, Executive Director and CEO of the Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington, CT, home of the long running Sunken Garden Poetry Festival program.

  One hundred years after its first publication in August 1915, Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken” is so ubiquitous that it’s easy to forget that it is, in fact, a poem.

Widely admired as the poetry columnist for the New York Times Book Review, David Orr deftly illuminates the poem’s enduring greatness while revealing its mystifying contradictions, in The Road Not Taken: Finding America In The Poem Everyone Loves And Almost Everyone Gets Wrong.

Orr examines the poem’s cultural influence, its artistic complexity, and its historical journey from the margins of the First World War all the way to its place today as a true masterpiece of American literature.

      In His Day is Done, Maya Angelou delivers an authentically heartfelt and elegant tribute to the late Nelson Mandela, who stood as David to the mighty Goliath of Apartheid and who, after twenty-seven years of unjust imprisonment on the notorious Robben Island, emerged with “His stupendous heart intact / His gargantuan will / Hale and hearty” to lead his people into a new era.

Maya Angelou joins us to discuss the poem and the loss of a man she feels fortunate to have called a friend.