In this episode, we think with the inaugural state poet laureate of Arizona, Alberto Ríos, about the meaning of giving. Why do we give? What is giving? And what are its consequences? Ríos wrote this poem for a broad audience and has shared it with many different groups. It is, on the one hand, a very simple and accessible poem, easy to understand. And it is also, on the other hand, filled with rich layers, structures, images, and contexts. We explore here how simplicity and complexity work together.
For the full text of the poem, see here.
For more on Alberto Ríos, see the Poetry Foundation here.
Thanks to Copper Canyon Press for granting us permission to read this poem in this episode. You can find "When Giving Is All We Have" in A Small Story about the Sky: https://www.coppercanyonpress.org/books/a-small-story-about-the-sky-by-alberto-rios/
- When Giving Is All We Have by Alberto Ríos - Poems | poets.org — inaugural state poet laureate of Arizona
- Alberto Ríos | Poetry Foundation