I spent my lunch hour celebrating the election of President Obama with The TIPA Project. TIPA, short for Toward International Peace through the Arts, presented Poetry and Prose for Our New President at St. Peter's Church. The program included:
Carmen de Lavallade read Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon (Chapter 9)
Arthur French read from Ralph Waldo Emerson's "Concord Hymn", Du Tu Le's "What I Leave to my Son", Ha Thi Thao's "Our Son's Profession"
Tammy Grimes read from W.B. Yeats "Sailing to Byzantium" and recited "The Song of Wandering Aengus"
Ronald Rand read President Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address" and "Second Inaugural Address"
Charles Turner rousingly read Lanston Hughes "Let America Be America"
John S. Major read Psalms 146 and 121
Richard Griffiths read Sir Stephen Spender's "I Think Continually of Those Who WEre Truly Great" and Robert Frost's "Mending Wall" and "The Road Not Taken"
Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson told stories and read from a program they performed when their daughters were still teenagers. The reading included Emily Dickinson's Hope, Edna St. Vincent Millay's "Recuerdo", John Updike's "Thoughts While Driving Home", Phyllis McGinley's "Refelctions at Dawn", and a letter from Benjamin Franklin giving advice to not only marry, but marry an older woman written June 25, 1745.
Bess Rous read a piece written by Mary Ann Williams for Nelson Mandella and "There is a Girl Inside" and "Won't You Celebrate with Me"
Stanley Tannen read Faiz Ahmed Faiz's "A Prison Evening"
Marian Seldes read Walt Whitman's "Manahatta", "When I Heard the Learned Astronomer", "A Noiseless Patient Spider" and "The Last Invocation"