Poetry: April is National Poetry Month...I am planning to volunteer in my children's school to get the students writing poems and hearing poetry read aloud (as it really is meant to be, any poet will tell you). This isn't the first time I've done this...and last year I even had my own students breaking up their technical writing essentials with the "luxury" of poetry. To me, this luxury is necessity. The subject of why poetry matters in our world today (perhaps more than ever before) is one I'll be expanding on at length soon. I often feel like I have to point out to our society that nine out of ten American children attend public schools. Funding issues, teacher cuts, and mandatory testing have ensured that things like poetry, fine arts, and creative writing have been deemed "extras" that very few schools can afford. If you have even the slightest kernel of a thought that this is a very, very, very bad thing--please contact your local neighborhood public school and tell them you are a community member who would like to share your talents by volunteering. They WELCOME participation from concerned individuals...if you feel put off about directly calling schools, go to your nephew's class--your best friend's daughter's--the kid next door's third grade classroom. I can tell you that it is addictive and will open your eyes about the future citizens of our world. These supposedly jaded-plugged-in-shallow-celebrity-obsessed children find themselves getting addicted to poetry...tell me, what could be better than that?
Spring Randomness: *The magnolia are blooming in my front yard...I must have taken forty photos yesterday. *We took our first hike of the season and Rosie walked the entire way without her usual hopping on M.'s back. *We broke a record for high temperatures on Tuesday and the sun has held since, cooling down just enough that the evening chill reminds us not to take the still-turning weather for granted. *Petunia is nearing the end of her antibiotics and treatments, breathing steadily again when she runs around with her siblings. *My boy-o has started baseball and is voraciously reading every book on the subject he can get his hands on...yes, that's right--he is reading voraciously and well after the neurological setbacks from his meningitis. *Rosie has been writing the letters of her name, asking everyone she sees--"Hey, what's your letter?" and then seriously considering this as if it can help her sort and categorize personality based on this alone. *Thanks to my sister I have the ability to type up my manuscript again. *Thanks to M. for spending HOURS on the telephone I have Internet-access again. *I'm having dinner with one of my oldest friends tonight, anticipating the ebb and flow of conversation between people who have weathered odd-boyfriends, her moving to California and back again, marriage and babies, her passionate conversion to Christianity while I've held firmly to "spiritual but not religious", and more wild stories from way back when than with anyone else in my life. *I read the words: "I feel yr determination and yr voice is flowering" written to me in an old card from Natalie Goldberg going through my files yesterday. I had to ask myself why that was stuffed in a file folder and promptly decided to display it where I can look at it day after day after day while I keep writing for the sunlight.