From wars to witches

Plus: William Carlos Williams

Front Runner

Episode: "1876 | Podcast: The Constant: A History of Getting Things Wrong | 60m49s

Deep dive into nineteenth century American political intrigue. The focal point is the 1876 presidential race, in which Democrat Samuel J. Tilden won an outright majority of the popular vote but lost the election, the only time this has happened. This is considered the most disputed US election result to date, but this episode also provides a wider look at corruption in the post Civil War era of Reconstruction in the US. Although bizarre and unsettling, this story is a restful change from contemporary political reporting (60m49s)


At Peace

Episode: "William Carlos Williams: 'A Portrait in Greys'" | Podcast: Poem-a-Day | 1m09s

Reading of a short, bleak poem by William Carlos Williams, first published in 1917 in his collection Al Que Quiere!. The text is opaque, with critics and biographers divided down the years whether the person the poet is addressing is a wife, a parent or a more nebulous, metaphorical entity. Regardless, it is a moving glimpse of a struggle to escape or transform a difficult relationship. This feed, as its title suggests, provides a poem of varying length every day, and listening to each one is a lovely habit to form (1m09s)


Witch Please

Episode: "Fire Scrying" | Podcast: The Witch Daily Show | 22m06s

Daily news podcast for modern witches. Here, the host dissects a recent article about hidden occult details in the 1993 cult film Hocus Pocus, in which a trio of witches resurrect in Salem, Massachusetts after 300 years to exact revenge. As well as this discussion of magic in fiction, there is also more practical guidance here about the Wiccan divination ritual of fire scrying, a popular custom around the approaching Gaelic fire festival of Samhain. This show is an uncanny blend of myth, magic and millennial internet culture (22m06s)


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Caroline Crampton, Editor
Lindelani Mbatha, International Editor
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