Confused, thrilled, and emotionally tangled by this mixture of football, poetry, and our memories of Jake, P&PC turned to the only person we could turn for an explanation—to Camille Dungy (pictured here and in the next image below), a poet, editor, and cousin of former NFL coach Tony Dungy. The author of three books of poetry (Smith Blue, Suck on the Marrow, and What to Eat, What to Drink, What to Leave for Poison), the editor of Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry, and the winner of an American Book Award, Dungy is currently a professor of English at Colorado State University. Here's what she had to say.
Mary Ellen Sanger, and she told me about her family. There were seven children in all, but one of them died in infancy. "Growing up, I remember feeling special because I was the only person I knew who had a brother who was an angel," she said. As I took angel ornaments off my tree, I was thinking about the implications of what Mary Ellen said. I was considering all the ways we perpetual mourners demonstrate our grief.
Lensing Funeral Home. If the funeral home has conducted a service for your loved one, you are eligible to receive one of these tatted ornaments. I have a snowflake for each of my mother's parents and one for my father's brother. The latter snowflake is newly on the tree this year because of services Lensing conducted for my uncle last spring. I packed away the snowflakes and kept thinking about angels.
Letter Already Broadcast into Space." That poem begins, "You are not here..." and goes on to say "I think, / they've forgotten you." I thought about how I have not forgotten Jake Adam York and the good work he did while on this earth. I thought about how Jake's poems memorialized people who lived and died to bring attention to injustice. I thought about how important it is to remember people who make us care about the lives around us. I thought about how crucial that work is, though much of it happens away from the general public's gaze. "Come down, Uncle, come down / and help me rise," his poem pleads, "I have forgot my wings." I thought about how finding ways to broadcast our connections to our own versions of angels can prove a service to us all. I thought about how I have not forgotten my uncle, my father's brother, any more than Mary Ellen's family forgot their own angel, the infant brother they gave wings. We were born in the same year, Jake Adam York and I. I thought about this. Mine, like his, is an associative poet's mind, known for imposing emotional context on the littlest things, known for believing small things matter a great deal. I thought about all of this in my living room's TV-less quiet, as I packed away angels.
the 2.8 hours that the average American spends watching television each day, I spend my time reading and writing or walking and cooking or talking and thinking instead. For the first two years that my cousin, Tony Dungy, led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the NFL playoffs, when I didn't have a television but still wanted to support him, I haunted sports bars and colleagues' couches every Sunday and Monday the team played. (This might seem like a major commitment if it weren't for the fact that my uncle, Jesse L. Dungy, even more dedicated to family than I, spent every game weekend flying or driving to whatever city in which the Bucs, and later the Indianapolis Colts, were scheduled to play.) A few games into the Buccaneers' third consecutive winning season, I calculated the hours I'd spent watching football over the previous two years: at least 120 hours, and probably more like 200.
report claims. The TV watching public could care less about literature, these statistics would suggest, and the people who build television content for them know this. I resolved, again, to dedicate my time to poetry instead of the TV.
Louisiana State ad. (That's a still from the ad pictured here; view the entire commercial at the bottom of this posting.) Apparently it's been playing all season, a clip of the "student poet" reciting her ode to LSU, but I had no idea about this intersection between football and poetry until New Year's Day. "I know you're rooting for Iowa," I told my Dad, "but LSU just made a fan out of me."
wrote about it often, even in his poem to Sun Ra.)
Nicky Beer: "ESPN just broadcast some of Jake Adam York's poetry before the BCS bowl game. Speechless and crying."
"There are Angels" ~ Jake Adam York | BCS National Championship from Bluefoot Entertainment on Vimeo.