The Writing Life: Roland Flint Hosts Josephine Jacobsen
This encore edition of HoCoPoLitSo's The Writing Life was filmed in 1995, when Baltimore poet Josephine Jacobsen was 86. Poet Roland Flint speaks comfortably with friend Jacobsen, who from 1971 to 1973 was the Library of Congress’ consultant in poetry, later known as the nation’s poet laureate. This flinty genius in a powder pink suit discusses the amiable nature of poets, the influence of Yeats and Auden on her work, and her dismissal of trends in poetry. Poet William Meredith called Josephine Jacobsen “post-cocious” because critics believe she did her best writing in her 70s and 80s. She reads many of her poems, including “A Motel in Troy, New York,” “Mr. Mahoney,” “Birdsong of the Lesser Poet,” “It is the Season,” “Notes from a Lenten Bar,” “Survivor’s Ballad,” “Softly,” and she closes with one of her favorites, “Gentle Reader,” in which she delights in the solace of reading “a magnificent poem” by another writer. Flint and Jacobsen also discuss form and rhyme: “A poet should not decide on form and put a poem into it -- that’s deadly,” Jacobsen proclaims.