Issue 461 | The Sun Magazine

May 2014

Readers Write

Speaking Up

A volleyball game, a missed brunch, a game of Candy Land

By Our Readers
The Dog-Eared Page

This Song Is Everywhere

You know, you are as good a songwriter as there is, but you might not believe it. If you don’t believe it, that’s why you’re not. All you got to do is to set down and write up what’s wrong and how to fix it. That’s all there is to it. Lord knows there is plenty of matter to work on. All we need is more songwriters. You, for instance.

By Woody Guthrie


It is not possible for any thinking person to live in such a society as our own without wanting to change it.

George Orwell


The Word Gets Around

An Interview With Pete Seeger From The Sun’s Archives

We know that the big job is to save the world, but where do you start? I’m convinced that if we are unable to work in our home communities, the job is not going to be done. The world is going to be saved by people who fight for their homes, whether they’re fighting for the block where they live in the city or a stretch of mountain or river. But unless they can fight within their own communities, I think they’re kidding themselves.

By Howard Jay Rubin
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Beautiful Trouble

Subtitled A Toolbox for Revolution, the anthology Beautiful Trouble offers advice on how to plan and execute successful protest actions. Coeditors Andrew Boyd and Dave Oswald Mitchell have assembled the wisdom of many activists and troublemakers like themselves into a book about what works and what doesn’t, how to recruit people and keep them engaged, and where to direct efforts for the greatest impact.

Edited By Andrew Boyd With Dave Oswald Mitchell
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

In The Quiet Room

There is nothing to remember. Pale flesh and coarse, dark hair and a mountain of a belly. Hands that lingered too long. A weight that wouldn’t move. No, nothing to remember.

By Jacqui Shine
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Imaginary Friends

As a child I had imaginary friends. So did my daughter. Is it possible that my daughter’s imaginary friends were the children of mine?

By Sparrow
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

I Sang For Everybody

Pete Seeger’s Testimony Before The House Un-American Activities Committee

Mr. Seeger: I feel that in my whole life I have never done anything of any conspiratorial nature, and I resent very much and very deeply the implication of being called before this committee: that in some way, because my opinions may be different from yours, or yours, Mr. Willis, or yours, Mr. Scherer, that I am any less of an American than anybody else. I love my country very deeply, sir.

By Pete Seeger
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

In The Twelve Years Since You Died

In the twelve years since you died, I moved eleven times and saw five therapists. I hiked in the Grand Canyon, backpacked through Europe, and drank wine in the high, open window of a Montreal hostel. I took a train alone from Toronto to Vancouver, sleeping upright in my seat for three nights. I graduated from college. I fell in love. I hung your portrait above my desk.

By Laura Maylene Walter


I am always asking doctors about their medical equipment, so I know that the stethoscope was popularized not because it improved a doctor’s ability to hear a heartbeat — although it had that effect, too — but because in nineteenth-century France it was considered improper to put one’s ear to a man’s chest or, especially, a woman’s bosom. The amplified heartbeat was secondary to the stethoscope’s main function, decorum.

By Ben Mauk

Cold Spell

Fourth day / of snow / freezing rain / huge / avalanches / of wind

By John Brehm

Selected Poems

from “Song for Picking Up” | Every time that something falls / someone is consigned to pick it up.

By Tony Hoagland