Brain Pickings Icon
Brain Pickings

Meryl Streep Sings Her Mother’s Lullaby

A moment of sweetness nestled between the mighty ages of eternity.

Meryl Streep Sings Her Mother’s Lullaby

Since its founding in 1934 by a visionary 23-year-old woman named Marie Bullock, The Academy of American Poets has been the country’s most spirited champion of poetry as a force of beauty, truth, and cultural upheaval, working tirelessly at everything from protecting the artist’s right to challenge the status quo to standing for social justice to inviting prominent poets into underprivileged schools.

For fifteen years, the Academy has been hosting Poetry & the Creative Mind during National Poetry Month — an evening of poems by some of the greatest poets humanity has produced, brought to life by beloved actors, writers, and musicians.

The 2017 edition — which featured readers like Amanda Palmer, Sebastian Junger, Elizabeth Alexander, Meg Ryan, Cécile McLorin Salvant, Uzo Aduba, and Maurice Hines, reading poems by Adrienne Rich, Langston Hughes, Mark Strand, Maya Angelou, E.E. Cummings, and more — concluded with a most unexpected and tender moment: Meryl Streep, a longtime supporter of the Academy and honorary co-chair of the evening, turned to Amanda Palmer behind her and dedicated to Amanda’s baby son Ash the lullaby Streep’s own mother hand sung to her — an 1845 children’s rhyme by the American educator and poet Julia Abigail Fletcher Carney, titled “Little Things,” which became Streep’s first encounter with poetry.

I was fortunate to capture this unrepeatable moment of sweetness — please enjoy:

Little drops of water,
Little grains of sand,
Make the mighty ocean
And the pleasant land.

Thus the little minutes,
Humble though they be,
Make the mighty ages
Of eternity.

Please join me in supporting The Academy of American Poets, a noble organization that survives on passion and generosity, then revisit Amanda Palmer’s beautiful reading of “Humanity I love you” by E.E. Cummings.


Published April 21, 2017

https://www.brainpickings.org/2017/04/21/meryl-streep-lullaby-academy-of-american-poets/

BP

www.brainpickings.org

BP

PRINT ARTICLE

Filed Under

View Full Site

Brain Pickings participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn commissions by linking to Amazon. In more human terms, this means that whenever you buy a book on Amazon from a link on here, I get a small percentage of its price. That helps support Brain Pickings by offsetting a fraction of what it takes to maintain the site, and is very much appreciated