Poets have long been drawn to the challenge of putting the raw physicality, the meaning of work, into verse.
For a special Labor Day edition of Radio Boston, we celebrate the poet's power to transmute experience into song. For Newburyport's Rhina Espaillat, toil brings solace in her poem "Find Work:"
My mother’s mother, widowed very young
of her first love, and of that love’s first fruit,
moved through her father’s farm, her country tongue
and country heart anaesthetized and mute
with labor. So her kind was taught to do—
“Find work,” she would reply to every grief—
and her one dictum, whether false or true,
tolled heavy with her passionate belief.
This hour, we listen back to three conversations we've had with some of our favorite poets.
This program aired on September 4, 2017.