Wednesday, November 25, 2020

On This Thanksgiving Eve In the United States....


On this Thanksgiving Eve here in the United States, we hereby present this courtesy the team at The Atlantic as we wish all a Happy Thanksgiving here in the United States:

9 Poems for a Tough Winter

(Matt Black/Magnum)


I do not wish to be blithe, / I wish to recoil and writhe. / I will revel in cosmic woe, / And I want my woe to show. This one will straighten you out. The great Ogden Nash, 1902–71, was a fiercely innovative poet who consecrated his art to the entertainment of the masses—and carried on being fiercely innovative. No one was wittier, no one was more verbally adroit, yet he had no meanness or spikiness; he was adored by that shy beast, the general reader. “So Penseroso” is a loving, piercing send-up of a certain strain of indulgent melancholia—to which we’re all prone right now, let’s face it. You will feel both accurately diagnosed and much, much better.

— James Parker, staff writer


I’ve always loved the rhythm of Nikki Giovanni’s poetry, how she seems to punctuate her flow with whispered asides. Throughout “My House,” she wonders aloud whether it might be a silly poem but keeps going anyway. That gentle musing mirrors her conclusion about the titular house and the warmth of the domestic sphere: Flawed or inconsequential though it may seem to others, this space is all Nikki’s—and being invited into it is no small thing.

— Hannah Giorgis, staff writer covering culture


One of my forever favorites is Karl Shapiro’s “California Winter,” a marvelous ode to the land of the oldest living things, / trees that were young when Pharoahs ruled the world, / trees whose new leaves are only just unfurled. I like best to read it through the eyes of Joan Didion, who writes about California like no one else, and who mentions Shapiro’s poem in The White Album. She rightly points out that its last stanza possesses the rare and quiet power of a prayer.

— Adrienne LaFrance, executive editor


When I was a kid, my mom taught me Mandarin by having me recite classical poetry. I understood little and memorized a lot, and two decades on, I find I remember most of what I learned. But I now revisit these verses with an added layer of nostalgia: The lonely sail, a faraway shadow, against an endless blue / I only see the Yangtze flowing into the horizon, goes one. The permutations of translation are infinite, frustrating, time-consuming (this one is mine; I’m no scholar and no poet). This pandemic winter, go memorize some stuff as an exercise. Translate, if you can, for fun, and for no one but yourself.

— Shan Wang, senior editor


Mary Oliver’s “Wild Geese” is my ultimate comfort poem; I go back to it again and again when I’m feeling despondent or defeated. You could argue this isn’t the right moment for the first line—You do not have to be good. (You do have to be good! Cancel Thanksgiving!) But the poem doesn’t feel indulgent to me as much as it feels merciful: Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. / Meanwhile the world goes on. It reminds me that this long pandemic winter will be only a blip in the vast span of the Earth’s history.

— Faith Hill, assistant editor who helps select our Atlantic weekly poem


In a social and political moment in which more people are discussing what role, if any, prisons and police should have in our society, I find that art can help us move our thinking away from what we believe is possible, and toward what we believe we deserve. Kyle Carrero Lopez’s poem “After Abolition” helps me dream of what it might mean to build the sort of country in which the instruments of our carceral state are pushed toward obsolescence. I will be rereading it for years to come.

— Clint Smith, staff writer and the author of the poetry collection Counting Descent


I raise the blinds. I lower the blinds. I raise. I lower. My son and I rise; my son and I set. I run school, I work, I single parent. I think of my single mother’s thankless hours; I call: What did I know, what did I know / of love’s austere and lonely offices? As days shorten, how do we keep going? Hayden’s poem of winter mornings seems bleak, yet his last line answers: love.

Jennifer Adams, associate director of production


You might know Smith from her poem “Good Bones,” which went viral in 2016 and gets shared on social media whenever the world’s feeling particularly grim. My favorite of hers is “First Fall,” in which a mother shows her newborn the changing leaves. The first time you see / something die, you won’t know it might / come back, she says. As this hard winter sets in, the poem reminds me that I’m old enough to know leaves grow back. But I’m most comforted by the fierce hope of the narrator, speaking to the baby on her chest: I’m desperate for you / to love the world because I brought you here.

— Isabel Fattal, assistant editor


When happiness feels out of reach, I turn to this Ross Gay poem. I love how the title boldly sweeps away feelings of heaviness before moving into a tender meditation on life’s delights. I want to look at the world as Gay does: appreciating the two million naturally occurring sweet things instead of just pondering the skeleton in the mirror. Sometimes, making that choice seems impossible, but Gay reminds me that there is a time for everything—including joy.

— Morgan Ome, assistant editor

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Notations From The Grid (Weekly Edition): While "Out & About"...

 After some rather challenging few weeks, the GSA Administrator here in the United States has formalized the transition process by authorizing funds to be released which was formally transmitted yesterday.    Our team did a compilations of the discourse over the last number of days which we hereby present as President-Elect Biden rolls out his key appointments:


Sunday, November 22, 2020

Notations From the Grid (Special Week-End Edition): On Global Citizen Prize


Global Citizen Prize

Mark Your Calendars For December!




Global Citizen Prize recognizes the remarkable people among us who dedicate their lives to defeating extreme poverty.


Now, the inspirational award ceremony is back, with John Legend as host for a second year! Global Citizen Prize will broadcast and stream globally in December — starting with NBC on Dec. 19, and then airing in countries all over the world in the following days."


As well as honoring action-taking world leaders, Global Citizens, young people, artists, and more, the show will feature inspirational stories of human strength and unforgettable artist performances, reminding each of us that, together, we’ll come out of this year stronger.


Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more announcements about who will join us as performers, presenters, and even award winners, and how you can tune in wherever you are. 


Before the show, we need your help! We’ve just launched a public vote to help decide who among three extraordinary young activists will be presented with the Global Citizen Prize: Cisco Youth Leadership Award, and receive $250,000 to support their organization. 


Read about the three inspiring finalists here and tell us your favorite to help decide the winner.


Thanks for having your say, and stay tuned!

The Global Citizen Team

Friday, November 20, 2020

Notations From the Grid (Weekly EditionI): On Technology, the Future of Democracy & the Week That Was

Our team chose this talk as our World continues to face profound headwinds as COVID continues to rage on, President Trump in the United States continues to challenge Election Results and Ethopia is faced with the prospect of Civil War.

Here is a snapshot of the World as it was this week:

Defense One Alert
November 17, 2020

Trump Orders Hasty Afghanistan, Iraq Drawdowns to Beat Biden Inauguration
By Katie Bo Williams

President Trump’s new acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller on Tuesday announced that the United States will draw down its forces in Afghanistan and Iraq to 2,500 troops in each country by Jan. 15, just days before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. 

Read more »

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Notations From the Grid (Weekly Edition): On Elections in the United States (II)

 We hereby present some additional thoughts on the Election Season in the United States: 

Notations From the Grid (Weekly Edition): On Elections in the United States

 As we went to press, Donald Trump is refusing to concede and is raising money to pay down campaign debt while mounting legal challenges throughout the United States.    World leaders have been congratulating President-Elect Biden with two notable exceptions:  China and Mexico.

The Secretary of Defense was fired yesterday and a number of other key officials also either resigned or were dismissed and loyalists were put in their place.   This is as the Trump Administration is refusing to cooperate on the Transition including the GSA Administrator, Emily Murphy, who has refused to sign a formal letter authorizing funds and office space.     The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has also refused to provide the President's Daily Brief to the President-Elect.   

We hereby present a snapshot of the discourse over the past 24 hours :

It is also  Veterans Day in the United States and Armistice Day in the UK.   We extend best wishes to all Veterans and salute them for their service.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Notations On Our World (Special #Election2020 Edition): On the Election of #POTUS46

US President-Elect Biden spoke to America and the World last night.  Congratulations have been pouring in from around the World as President Trump vows to continue the fight supported by The Republican Party leadership.   Our team will continue to monitor as we present a sampling of the World's reaction to the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris: