© and (P)1995 Public Affairs Television, Inc. and David Grubin Productions, Inc. Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, A Division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing Group, Inc.
This series, "Language of Life", though "only about poetry", was not only life-changing for me, but also ~ literally ~ for several of my friends who heard it. Coleman Barks' presentation of Rumi's poetry was exquisite and very moving. I have heard other productions of Barks reading Rumi's poetry, but none of them captured the magic as this presentation does. There is amazing life, vibrancy, passion and humor throughout all of the poets' presentations. As one poet says in the interviews, listening to a poet read his or her own words is like "fireworks for the ears". The performance poetry in this series will forever alter your perception of poetry, and will light a fire under the idea that language is your power, too. This series gorgeously illustrates that, as Rumi says, there are hundreds of ways "to kneel and kiss the ground."
The title deceived me. I thought it was about life in the broadest sense but this collection of brief interactions with so-called minority and feminist poets and samples of their work was heavily biased toward a minority anti-American, anti-White, narrowed perspective of poetry and art... I am not american and was looking for poetry with more transcendent qualities, able to get beyond surface preoccupations... If this collection represents the best of American poetry then the art is in trouble of being underwhelmed by mediocrity... Bill movers didn't challenge these political ideologues enough because just wanted his show done and dusted, it seems... Disappointing in the extreme...
I listen to books when I'm at work or doing chores. I prefer history and fantasy. My favorite audio book is Going Postal by Terry Pratchett.
If you left English class with an indifferent attitude about poetry this collection will only serve to convince of the complete idiocy of the art form. Listening to these poets read their work in a breathless pretentious "I'm reading poetry! How inspiring!" voice while bad music played behind them utterly failed to change my life in any way. Though it did convince me that if you're trying for a global language of life it's probably music without words. I don't understand writing just for the fun of ignoring syntax; if you're going for rhythm pick up a drum.
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