How to lift him by Ed Madden

Here’s a Sunday bonus video, a poetic un-sermon after my own heart from one of our finest Southern poets. Ed Madden’s TEDx talk seamlessly incorporates three poems from his 2013 collection My Father’s House: “How to lift him,” “Knowledge,” and “Thirst.” The book’s publisher, Ron Mohring, describes this talk as “Frank, open, painful, specific, direct, moving, and perhaps above all, generous.” I was especially moved by Madden’s quietly radical questioning of the power of communication to change those around us, and his refusal to grasp at easy, glib truths.

The video is also available at the TEDx site.


  1. Reply
    Harriet Hancock 9 March, 2014

    Ed Madden’s talk was so honest and so moving. How generous of him to share his experience with all of us. He really deserved the standing ovation he received. One of the best ever!

  2. Reply
    Jana Dehoff 10 March, 2014

    Thank you Ed Madden for helping all of us with aging parents.

  3. Reply
    Miles Gardner 9 March, 2017


  4. Reply
    Peter 3 October, 2019

    I haven’t read his poems yet, but from this talk it’s evident he’s quite a poet. And I’m dealing with aging parents now. This was helpful and moving.

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