The Boston Citgo sign, all 3,600 square LED feet of which has served as the backdrop to Red Sox games since 1965, is now officially a "pending landmark."

Spanish Surrealist Salvador Dalí spent much of the 1940s in the U.S., avoiding World War II and its aftermath. He was a well-known fixture on the art scene in Monterey, Calif. — and that's where the largest collection of Dalí's work on the West Coast is now open to the public.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

The middle of summer is when the surprises in publishing turn up. I'm talking about those quietly commanding books that publishers tend to put out now, because fall and winter are focused on big books by established authors. Which brings us to The Dream Life of Astronauts, by Patrick Ryan, a very funny and touching collection of nine short stories that take place in the 1960s and '70s around Cape Canaveral, Fla.

When the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union last month, the seaside town of Port Talbot in Wales eagerly went along with the move. Brexit was approved by some 57 percent of the town's residents.

Now some of them are wondering if they made the wrong decision.

The June 23 Brexit vote has raised questions about the fate of the troubled Port Talbot Works, Britain's largest surviving steel plant — a huge, steam-belching facility that has long been the town's biggest employer.

Solar Impulse 2 has landed in Cairo, completing the penultimate leg of its attempt to circumnavigate the globe using only the power of the sun.

The trip over the Mediterranean included a breathtaking flyover of the Pyramids. Check it out:

President Obama is challenging Americans to have an honest and open-hearted conversation about race and law enforcement. But even as he sits down at the White House with police and civil rights activists, Obama is mindful of the limits of that approach.

"I've seen how inadequate words can be in bringing about lasting change," the president said Tuesday at a memorial service for five law officers killed last week in Dallas. "I've seen how inadequate my own words have been."

Mice watching Orson Welles movies may help scientists explain human consciousness.

At least that's one premise of the Allen Brain Observatory, which launched Wednesday and lets anyone with an Internet connection study a mouse brain as it responds to visual information.

The FBI says it is giving up on the D.B. Cooper investigation, 45 years after the mysterious hijacker parachuted into the night with $200,000 in a briefcase, becoming an instant folk figure.

"Following one of the longest and most exhaustive investigations in our history," the FBI's Ayn Dietrich-Williams said in a statement, "the FBI redirected resources allocated to the D.B. Cooper case in order to focus on other investigative priorities."

This is the first in a series of essays concerning our collective future. The goal is to bring forth some of the main issues humanity faces today, as we move forward to uncertain times. In an effort to be as thorough as possible, we will consider two kinds of threats: those due to natural disasters and those that are man-made. The idea is to expose some of the dangers and possible mechanisms that have been proposed to deal with these issues. My intention is not to offer a detailed analysis for each threat — but to invite reflection and, hopefully, action.


A Memorized Poem 'Lives With You Forever,' So Pick Carefully

Jan 19, 2013
Originally published on January 28, 2013 5:39 pm

Take just a moment to estimate how many songs you know by heart. Dozens? Hundreds? Thousands?

Now, how many poems do you have memorized?

For most modern readers, even poetry fans, that number's pretty low. But Poetry By Heart, a new competition in the U.K., is seeking to bring the art of poetry memorization to a new generation.

On Weekend Edition Saturday, poet Jean Sprackland — who helped assemble the list of 130 poems eligible for Poetry By Heart — spoke to NPR's Scott Simon about the joys of memorization. As it turns out, both Sprackland and Simon still remember texts they learned years ago: for Sprackland, it's John Keats' "Ode to a Nightingale"; for Simon, it's Macbeth's last soliloquy.

Sprackland says that a poem known by heart becomes a part of you, and "it's something that lives with you forever." For some, that might stay true even if you lose a few of the words: In 2005, linguist Geoff Nunberg commented on Fresh Air that he still feels like he "owns" poems that he can't perfectly recite. But if a memorized poem stays with you forever, then learning a text comes with some pressure. Let's say you want to up the number of poems you know by heart. How do you choose which works to carry with you for the rest of your life?

Some poems, marked by regular rhymes and rhythms, are simply easier to memorize. After all, the predictable patterns of verse are the reason poems are usually easier to learn by heart than prose. But it's not all about picking the easiest poem to learn; you'll want one with emotional impact, rich imagery and enough shades of meaning that it's worth returning to again and again. And then there's always the question of fame: While an obscure text might be of great personal significance, learning a poem that's more famous can make for a pretty good party trick.

The 10 poems below, selected from the 130 in the Poetry By Heart anthology, are particularly rewarding to memorize. But while this list is a good place to start, ultimately the decision is entirely personal. When a poem hits you right in the gut, you'll know it's time to start memorizing.

Ode to a Nightingale, John Keats

Jean Sprackland told NPR's Scott Simon that even before she knew what they meant, she loved how Keats' words "tasted and felt."

Thou wast not born for death, immortal bird!

Paradise Lost, Book 1, 242-270, John Milton

Satan's response to his expulsion from heaven, in its fury and arrogance, is recognizably more human than demonic.

The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.

Kubla Khan, Samuel Taylor Coleridge

This famously drug-fueled dreamscape manages to be simultaneously haunting and energetic.

That sunny dome! those caves of ice!

Ozymandias, Percy Bysshe Shelley

Easy to memorize and fun to recite, this classic sonnet is great to have on hand as a rejoinder to the overconfident.

Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!

Dover Beach, Matthew Arnold

In a poem perfect for today's apocalypse-obsessed, Arnold mixes despair and last-ditch hope.

But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar

Invitation to Love, Paul Dunbar

Dunbar's love poem shines with sincerity, and features repetition that translates well to speech and memory.

Come to my heart and bring it to rest

The Second Coming, William Butler Yeats

This classic reads like a horror story, but there's a powerful moral judgment behind the bloody monsters.

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold

The Fish, Elizabeth Bishop

Deceptively simple, this description of a catch builds toward a euphoric release.

And everything was rainbow, rainbow, rainbow!

Sea Canes, Derek Walcott

Once memorized, this brief, lovely elegy becomes a constantly accessible comfort for the mourning.

but out of what is lost grows something stronger

Ö, Rita Dove

From a single word of Swedish, Dove builds a meditation on change and the power of language.

You start out with one thing, end
up with another

What works would you recommend to someone looking for the perfect poem to memorize?

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