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Healing H.E.R.

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Happy Birthday Poem Gay !FREE!


When things feel dark, it can be all the more important to seek out and recognize joy. The writer Ross Gay spent a year doing that. Starting on his 42nd birthday, he wrote an essay every day about something delightful - nicknames, fireflies, reckless air quotes. He collected about 100 of those essays in "The Book Of Delights," and this seems like a good moment to rebroadcast our conversation about that book from early last year.




happy birthday poem gay



WARNER: Now, before we go further, a language alert - this episode includes language that is vulgar and is sexual in nature. It is by far the most explicit episode I have ever worked on. It might be the most graphic thing in your podcast feed right now. And so it goes without saying, some of you may not find this appropriate for kids or safe for work. But we have left this language unbleeped because this episode is all about the art of the inappropriate and the role of incivility and put-downs in politics in a country that prides itself on being highly proper and where being seen as vulgar can have severe consequences, which brings us back to this birthday poem about the president's birth to his late mother Esteri.


STELLA NYANZI: Yoweri, they say it was your birthday yesterday - how painfully ugly a day. I wish the lice-filled bush of dirty pubic hair overgrown all over Esiteri's unwashed chuchu (ph) had strangled you at birth, strangled you just like the long tentacles of corruption you sowed and watered into our bleeding economy. I wish the infectious, dirty-brown discharge flooding Esiteri's loose pussy had drowned you to death, drowned you as vilely as you have sank and murdered the dreams and aspirations of millions of youths who languish in the deep sea of massive unemployment and underemployment in Uganda.


WARNER: Uganda is a very conservative and very Christian country. A majority of Ugandans say that they would approve of the Bible being the law of the land. During the AIDS epidemic, President Museveni organized abstinence pride parades. And more recently, his government proposed a ban on miniskirts and the death penalty for being gay. It's a country where you get political power by claiming to defend morality. The author of this poem, Stella Nyanzi, was put on trial and sentenced to 18 months in prison.


STELLA NYANZI: Yoweri, they say it was your birthday yesterday - how traumatically wasted a day. I wish the poisoned uterus sitting just above Esiteri's dry clitoris had prematurely miscarried a thing to be cast upon a manure pit, prematurely miscarried just like you prematurely aborted any semblance of democracy, good governance and rule of law.


WARNER: We first heard about Stella Nyanzi from NPR's East Africa correspondent, Eyder Peralta. Eyder first met Stella before she'd written the birthday poem. She'd already spent time in jail for other poetry she'd written about the president.


STELLA NYANZI: My breasts are special. They're just long and ugly and fat, and they have veins. And when you're angry, they look angry. When you're happy, they look happy - like, you know, breasts with special expressions.


WARNER: Would Ugandan's understand that she was trying to show contempt for a government that had shown contempt for them? Or would she just be seen as attention seeking and a bit mad? Stella, after this, became even more outspoken. Not long after, she wrote that birthday poem that we quoted at the beginning of the episode, and that was treated very seriously. She was sentenced to a year and a half. And as Eyder went back and forth to Uganda reporting this story, he started to notice a shift.


WARNER: Hey. We're back with ROUGH TRANSLATION. I'm Gregory Warner. Back at the end of last year when Eyder Peralta pitched us this story, Stella Nyanzi was still in prison for that birthday poem that she'd written to the president.


WARNER: It's in front of the prison director that she's saying all this. She's saying that she scratched her poems onto the prison wall with her handcuffs. She'd write, freedom is more than liberty, just as she'd once left carvings on the punishment tree in grade school. And again in front of the prison director, she told Eyder how she instructed other women prisoners how they could break the rules against masturbation.


WARNER: It was two months after this interview that Stella released a book of poems smuggled out of her prison cell. It's called "No Roses From My Mouth." And in it, there's another birthday poem. This one is called "Missed Birthdays."


I love this poem, too.It has kept me in gratitude during ongoing radiation treatments (throat cancer).After the rad techs clamp me to the table and leave the room, I recite this brief poem -silently, and with great joy and awe.thank you god for for most this amazing mr cummings


This poem was originally published in Xaipe1 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1950), reissued in 2004 by Liveright, an imprint of W.W. Norton & Company. Reprinted here by permission of the publisher. Copyright expires 2045.


This poem has been set to music by Peter Dickinson as the first song in An e.e.cummings song cycle (1965), for voice and piano, published by Novello and recorded by Meriel Dickinson (mezzo-soprano) and the composer on Peter Dickinson: Songcycles, Albany TROY 365 (2000). See


I never saw sad men who looked With such a wistful eyeUpon that little tent of blue We prisoners called the sky,And at every careless cloud that passed In happy freedom by.


Ah! happy day they whose hearts can break And peace of pardon win!How else may man make straight his plan And cleanse his soul from Sin?How else but through a broken heart May Lord Christ enter in?


Oscar Wilde was born in Dublin, Ireland, on October 16, 1854. He attended Trinity College, Dublin, from 1871 to 1874 and Magdalen College, Oxford, from 1874 to 1878. At Oxford, he received the Newdigate Prize for his long poem Ravenna (T. Shrimpton and Son, 1878). He also became involved in the aesthetic movement, advocating for the value of beauty in art.


Jeff Friedman has published six poetry collections, five with Carnegie Mellon University Press, including Pretenders (2014), Working in Flour (2011) and Black Threads (2008). His poems, mini stories and translations have appeared in American Poetry Review, Poetry, New England Review, The Antioch Review, Poetry International, Hotel Amerika, Flash Fiction Funny, Plume, Agni Online, The New Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish Poets, Smokelong Quarterly, and The New Republic and many other literary magazines.


This is most definitely a poem that makes me feel as if the top of my head is coming off. Thank you for sharing it, and for the information about Ross Gay. We are quite close to Bloomington and will have to check out his work with the orchard and his writing.


Crucial to Whitman's legacy is the ambiguity in some of his poems--and lack of ambguity in others--over his affection for other men. Whitman lauds the universal love and appreciation of both man and woman, lofty and mundane. He may be the highest-profile bisexual artist of our time.


Faces along the barCling to their average day:The lights must never go out,The music must always play,All the conventions conspireTo make this fort assumeThe furniture of home;Lest we should see where we are,Lost in a haunted wood,Children afraid of the nightWho have never been happy or good.


He masked the origins of his verse, his different desire, his libidinal priorities. He refused i later years to let his poems appear in gay anthologies. Thus to his main audience he remained a high priest, to his friends an impossible and wonderful queen. He needed Freud; but so too did his poetry.


In our time, Philip Larkin warned against the consequences of trying to make art out of art. Larkin thought the later Auden had done that, and there is evidence that Larkin was right. But Auden, both the earlier and the later, always presented his artistic enthusiasms as if they had forced their way into his busy head: he wrote as if learning had pursued him, not he it. In his critical compendia, even the most abstruse speculations are given as the workshop knowhow of a master carpenter. If he wrote a poem about a painting, it was because the painting had hit him like a force of nature, as an everyday event.


What is a highbrow? Someone who is not passive to his experience but who tries to organize, explain and alter it, someone in fact, who tries to influence his history: a man struggling for life in the water is for the time being a highbrow. The decisive factor is a conflict between the person and his environment; most of the people who are usually called highbrows had either an unhappy childhood and adolescence or suffer from physical defects.


Auden turned out, as if effortlessly, poems in all manner of verse forms, including sestinas, sonnets, ballads, canzones, haiku, the blues, even limericks. On the other hand, Auden insisted on rigorous honesty, on a preference for sense over sound.


The new Auden was somehow better read one by one, the long series on his house is a little ingenious, difficult and dry in bulk. I liked the MacNeice too. He had a still better poem, I think, a really marvelous one in the spring Encounter, about a flashback to an old love-affair.


The Nazis soil everything they touch. Governor Stein rejects Albrecht's offer of a birthday poem in favor of an impromptu boxing match in which Friedrich is forced to KO Albrecht to the elder Stein's drunken, slobbery, almost loverlike approval. "Call me, Heinrich." Von Dohnanyi nicely plays down his character's reptilian charisma, doubtlessly fine-honed in a Munich beer hall. He's a Nazi's Nazi. As he stares in revulsion at his effeminate poet son, you can practically hear Goring's famous maxim, "When I hear culture, I reach for my revolver."


In the month of April, we get a chance to celebrate the birthday of Charlotte Brontë and reflect on her life and literary achievements. Born on April 21, 1816, Charlotte was the eldest surviving sister of the Brontë children. She and her sisters, Emily and Anne, took the literary world by storm: Charlotte with Jane Eyre, Emily with Wuthering Heights, and Anne with Agnes Grey. However, the sisters started their literary journeys as poets writing under the pseudonyms Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell.


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