As promised, here is the key to surviving Super Bowl Sunday, especially when your team is losing and you have no idea who the performer is for the halftime show.
For the first time, poetry made it to the Super Bowl with an original poem from Amanda Gorman. I certainly hope a poetry reading becomes a continuing addition to the pregame show!
Poetry reappeared for me during the second half of the game when I received a text from my poem-reading, poet friend. She asked if I had read Margaret Atwood's "Zombies" and "The Aliens Arrived" in her most recent collection Dearly. Having not quite reached these poems in the book yet, I started reading from where I had left off ("Digging Up the Scythians," which reminded me of an episode of Vikings. Note the television series, not the football team.). I read "Zombies" and decided this may have been another reason why I didn't like playing with Play-Doh as a child. (The other reasons are that Play-Doh is smelly and messy. Also attributes of zombies from what I understand.) Atwood has a point in comparing zombies to poetry, but I found this metaphor disconcerting. I like to think my own poetry is enlightening, encouraging, and uplifting. Not something dead resurrected to stalk the innocents and cause mindless mayhem that forces them to survive on Sno balls. (Actually, I love coconut, which gives me a monacomb of confidence that I could survive the Zombie Apocalypse.)
When I read "The Aliens Arrived," my husband asked me why I was laughing. I showed him the poem. He read it and laughed. Score!
I decided that "Update on Werewolves" describes the women I warn my sons about dating or befriending, and I thought the reality of "At the Translation Conference" was scarier than zombies, aliens, or werewolves.
After seeing the next Atwood poem titled "Walking in the Madman's Wood," I was relieved when my friend asked if I had ever read "Binsey Poplars" by Gerard Manley Hopkins. I found this poem to be cutting edge for its time and bought a collection of Hopkins.
Then to my surprise, I realized the Super Bowl game was over. I felt invigorated. With poetry, my poetic friend, and my other survival methods, I had survived the evening. And won!