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Evening News From Moscow (C-Span, 6-6:30 p.m. EDT): A report in Russian with simultaneous English translation. * FRIDAY

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Bill Moyers' Journal

(PBS, 9-10 p.m.): Reading poetry is the ultimate bore to many people, but if they had to think of something even more boring, it might be listening to someone talk about poetry.

Who, then, is likely to be interested in a show featuring a poet who reads her poems and discusses how she wrote them?

The answer is virtually anyone interested in ``passion, love, hate, sex, war, birth, and death.'' That's what poetry is about, says Moyers's guest Rita Dove, poet laureate of the United States. Poetry, she says, ``is a witness for life.'' She was appointed last year at age 40, the youngest person to hold a post previously filled by people like Robert Penn Warren and Howard Nemerov.

An African-American, Ms. Dove talks about experiencing racial prejudice as a girl and about the tremendous support she received from her family in her ambition to write. In 1987, Dove won the Pulitzer Prize for her 44-poem collection called ``Thomas and Beulah,'' which she says was inspired by her grandparents.

Two Seconds to Midnight (The Discovery Channel, 9- 11 p.m.): By now most people are familiar with this arresting geological metaphor: If the earth's 4.7-billion-year history were represented by a 24-hour day, the human race would show up two seconds before midnight. Yet during that two seconds, we have managed to do a staggering amount of environmental damage.

In keeping with Earth Day 1994, this program seeks to illustrate the point - and envision the future - with archival clips, natural-history films, and electronic images projecting future scenes. It traces the development of the planet since its creation, eventually showing the damage of rapid population growth - from 1 billion people in 1824 to 5 billion by 1988.

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The program's goal is to increase environmental awareness and to suggest ways of restoring the earth and preventing future damage.

Please check local listings for these programs.

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