NewsPoet: Craig M. Teicher Writes The Day In Verse | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NewsPoet: Craig M. Teicher Writes The Day In Verse

Play associated audio

Today marks the second installment of a new project at All Things Considered. Each month we'll be bringing in a poet to spend time in the newsroom — and at the end of the day, to compose a poem reflecting on the day's news.

Last month we invited Tracy K. Smith to join us. Next month we'll have Kevin Young in the studio.

This month we're talking to Craig Morgan Teicher. He is a poet, critic and freelance writer. He is the author of Brenda Is in the Room and Other Poems, as well as a collection of short stories and fables called Cradle Book.

Teicher sat down with Melissa Block to talk about the poem he wrote — and the process. He was inspired, he said, by a story in the news about Google. Rumor has it that the company plans to create eyeglasses that have smartphone capabilities.

"I love the Internet," Teicher explained. "I walk around with an iPad everywhere I go. But the idea of the Internet superimposed on what you see really changes the stakes. It's kind of creepy."

Teicher also explained how he structured his poem. "I ended up writing in a form called a villanelle," he said. "The first and third lines are repeated as the last lines of the succeeding stanzas through the rest of the poem."

The form helped him come to terms with his subject. "It's about convincing yourself of something and repeating something — trying to get over a point that you can't quite get over," Teicher said.

It was also a way to find some order in the midst of a hectic day. "It's a form that I happen to feel pretty comfortable with and so it helped me organize the process of going from nothing to poem in a couple of hours."

This was a challenging task, but Teicher called it a fun one. And he was happy with the result.

"Normally I wouldn't have even shown this to my wife yet," Teicher told Block. "But it was a really fun thing to get to do, and I'm grateful to get to do it. I hope people like the poem."

As for whether he liked it? "Oh yeah," said Teicher. "I think I'll keep it. I'm happy with it."

Through The Google Glasses: A Villanelle

BY CRAIG MORGAN TEICHER

At last the Internet is before my eye,
the actual world merely the consequence
of the search terms I supply.

Looking up, I see information in the sky:
not just birds but related stories and comments
from readers of the Internet before my eye,

or between it and the world where I
am walking and yet at a distance,
veiled by the search terms I supply

to my glasses. I feel uplifted, high,
even, almost, uploaded. It's intense,
merging word and world in my eye.

Looking at you, glasses off, though, I feel shy —
there's so much these glasses can't enhance
about me, so much search can't supply.

But with them on I'm more than a guy
at a keyboard. I am a see-board, immense,
re-envisioning, according to the Internet in my eye,
a world, at last, that answers to the terms I supply.

All Things Considered's NewsPoet is produced and edited by Ellen Silva with production assistance from Rose Friedman.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

If Robots 'Speak,' Will We Listen? Novel Imagines A Future Changed By AI

As artificial intelligence alters human connection, Louisa Hall's characters wrestle with whether machines can truly feel. Some "feel they have to stand up for a robot's right to exist," Hall says.
NPR

Aphrodisiacs Can Spark Sexual Imagination, But Probably Not Libido

Going on a picnic with someone special? Make sure to pack watermelon, a food that lore says is an aphrodisiac. No food is actually scientifically linked to desire, but here's how some got that rep.
NPR

A Reopened Embassy In Havana Could Be A Boon For U.S. Businesses

When the U.S. reopens its embassy in Havana, it will increase its staff. That should mean more help for American businesses hoping to gain a foothold on the Communist island.
NPR

In A Twist, Tech Companies Are Outsourcing Computer Work To ... Humans

A new trend is sweeping the tech world: hiring real people. NPR's Arun Rath talks to Wired reporter Julia Greenberg about why tech giants are learning to trust human instinct instead of algorithms.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.