Yusef Komunyakaa went to Vietnam as a journalist but he came home a poet. This episode explores what burns in memory and on the page, even decades later. Former Secretary of State John Kerry, film and theatre director Julie Taymor, composer Elliot Goldenthal, Komunyakaa himself and a chorus of veterans discuss the mingled beauty and horror of war-- and the challenge of making art of it.
Episode Duration: 26 minutes and 46 seconds
Episode Number: 206
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The series POETRY IN AMERICA draws students of all ages into conversations about poetry.
Hosted by Harvard University professor Elisa New, each half-hour episode highlights the work of one distinguished poet (Emily Dickinson, Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks) with a reading by an individual well known for accomplishments outside the humanities (actress and playwright Anna Deavere Smith, Grammy-Award winner Herbie Hancock; former vice president Joe Biden, and rapper/poet Nas), as well as a chorus of others, including: a chorus of pick-up basketball players, young naturalists at the Massachusetts Audubon Society, and students at the Parsons School of Design.
The fast-moving, beautifully shot series offers viewers a fully immersive experience in hearing, reading, and interpreting a single American poem.
Scholar Elisa New opens a conversation about poetry and encourages viewers at home to extend the discussion past the episode's end.
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