Wislawa Szymborska

One of the best poets I’ve read in quite a while, this Polish Nobel Laureate has a wonderful collection, Poems New and Collected, which includes some of her best work over the past half century. She turns a clever eye to the oddities of humanity, the perplexities of modern life, and everything from Atlantis and acrobats to museums and miracles. She imagines angels watching slapstick comedy, celebrates the gift of clouds, and watches a bodybuilder flex. It’s hard to say what a typical Szymborska poem is since her style and subjectivity have such range. In one poem, she contemplates the ethereal hour of 4 a.m. In another, she struggles to capture the hollow experience of a concentration camp. One poem observes a surreal scene outside a bar as the final seconds tick down before a terrorist’s bomb goes off. In another, she’s in the Himalayas calling out to Yeti. Above all, Szymborska keeps alive a dreamy hope, grateful for the opportunities we have to discover and share life in all its subtleties — if only in the moment of poetic ponderance.



It’s hard to think of a time when I didn’t have that milkshake goodness with a fruity delicious twist. Great for hot days when you want a cool, refreshing drink to energize your mind without the addiction of caffeine. So pull out the blender. Spoon out some yogurt, toss in some strawberries and bananas (or whatever fruit you desire), pour in the milk, and add a scoop of soy protein powder for a vitamin boost. Press blend. Enjoy.


Richard Cheese

He’s the swanky version of Weird Al Yankovic in a tux. Crooning with his back-up jazz trio, this Gouda with the golden voice turns Top 40, rap, metal and punk into lounge music renditions that will leave you laughing all the way to the martini bar. With albums like Aperitif for Destruction, The Sunny Side of the Moon, and most recently Lounge Against the Machine, His Cheesiness is in high demand playing shows in Vegas, the Big Apple and groovy joints across the land. Check him out at iTunes or at www.richardcheese.com.

— By Michael Beadle

This Must Be the Place

Reading Room

  • Books that help bridge the political divide
    Books that help bridge the political divide Time for spring-cleaning.  The basement apartment in which I live could use a deep cleaning: dusting, washing, vacuuming. It’s tidy enough — chaos and I were never friends — but stacks of papers need sorting, bookcases beg to see their occupants removed and the shelves…
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