In January 1963, fifty years ago, the great American writer
James Baldwin published a famous book entitled The Fire Next Time. According to Peter Gilbert, it
was a profoundly influential statement about race relations in the
midst of the Civil Rights movement.
Robert Frost died fifty years ago tomorrow at the age of eighty-eight. Here’s Peter Gilbert to tell us about the last days of a man that scholars generally now recognize as one of America’s greatest poets.
With the return of wintry weather, parents once again have to plan ahead
for days when their children may be released from school early due to
impending weather, out of concern for their safety. It’s a necessity
that’s reminded Peter Gilbert of how a tremendously powerful winter storm once
swept across the northern plains – with the most dire of consequences.
Peter Gilbert observes that New Year’s Day one hundred and fifty years ago was unlike any other in
American history. With the stroke of a pen, four million humans stopped
being under the law pieces of property owned by other people. The slaves
in the Confederacy won their freedom.
This time of year, the sight of truckloads of Christmas trees on the
highway headed south, remind Peter Gilbert of the story of Boston’s Christmas
tree. It ‘s a powerful story that goes back exactly ninety-five years to Halifax, Nova Scotia and
the first World War.
It’s been said that you campaign in poetry and govern in prose. And as
the country prepares to vote once again, commentator and Vermont
Humanities Council executive director Peter Gilbert tells us about a
timely poem written by one of America’s greatest poets.