Thursday, March 29, 2007


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.



Anonymous acumamakiki said...

Happy Magnolias to you dear heart. Thank you for the update from your neck of the woods. Have great fun with your friend. xo

1:09 PM  
Anonymous bookbinds said...

There are some beautiful lines in this poem! I really liked, "Not the pelvic bowl--where life can begin--" and the idea of "fevered rememberings."

1:36 PM  
Blogger Kimberley McGill said...

I sometimes volunteer (and used to work) as a writing tutor for college kids. It's a great opportunity to help them discover their own voice and (since so many of their papers are for English) to discover that poetry and other literature is not a locked box they don't have the key to.

Your poem overwhelms the senses, its an experience. I love the line about the chain smoking tight rope walker . . .

Take Care

3:02 PM  
Blogger paris parfait said...

Your words are right on the mark about volunteering in schools. It's disturbing that so many schools lack the basic classes we took for granted growing up, such as music, art and p.e. and foreign languages. Wonderful poem, Delia. Beautiful Magnolias and I hope you enjoy time with your friend. I have a college friend arriving Saturday - we've gone in vastly different directions and she now is an English prof at a conservative college and is very very conservative in general. Lots to talk/argue about! :) xo

5:18 PM  
Blogger Tammy said...

You never disappoint! The rib and scapula were awesome and I bet a hard heart is grey. WOW!

"These supposedly jaded-plugged-in-shallow-celebrity-obsessed children find themselves getting addicted to poetry...tell me, what could be better than that?" YES!

5:23 PM  
Blogger la vie en rose said...

your poem, your poem, your poem! wow! it blew me away. when i grow up i wanna write like you...

5:33 PM  
Blogger January said...

I'm glad your family is on the mend!

Your poetry sings! I especially love these words, "Not the spine
the knotted strand of pearls--gritting in my teeth ..."

And you've absolutely right about volunteering in local school systems. Hard to believe that some schools consider creative writing an "extra." Maybe enough concerned parents and citizens can make a difference.

This is such an inspiring post to kick off National Poetry Month!

9:52 PM  
Blogger Amber said...

Hi sweetness. Good to see you. I think those kids are very very lucky to have you reading poems to them! You should bring in some of your daughters stuff, if she would let you! Only, she is so gifted they might feel lame. lol


10:32 PM  
Blogger Crafty Green Poet said...

intriguing poem on many ways, beautifully written.

9:39 AM  
Blogger deirdre said...

Volunteering in the classroom is an amazingly satisfying way to spend a couple hours. I used to volunteer in my niece's kindergarten class. It gave me the opportunity to read one of the children's books I collect to the audience it was intended for and see little kids fall under the spell of a story. Because my niece called me Aunty in the class all the kids started calling me Aunty too. It was wonderful.

I finished reading your poem with my hand clasped over my heart. Beautiful.

10:51 AM  
Blogger daisies said...

you poem spread through my mind and i gasped in awe ...

i used to teach highschool english and yes watching them get excited about poetry and their words always made me want to dance around, or jump up and down, which i often did to their delight ...

writing for the sunlight : )

have a wonderful visit with your friend ...

12:10 PM  
Blogger Deb R said...

Oh my, I LOVE that poem. It's wonderful. (And I'm glad you included the definition of lyart at the end because that was a new one for me too.)

The magnolia photo is lovely.

2:30 PM  
Blogger Vanessa said...

I love it when I come here and find a new post. Especially when it's a long one. I wish it would go on forever. So many things about this post make me smile. And you've left me thinking about sharing more poetry with my boys :)
The poem is stunning.
Have fun with your old friend.

5:57 PM  
Blogger Laini Taylor said...

I would display a letter like that from Natalie Goldberg too!

And that poem, it is delicious! So beautiful. I especially loved the clavicle and scapula, the carnival girl you might have been. So lovely! And thanks for the new word -- never heard it. Kind of a good character name!

I hope the writing is going really really well -- I've had to scale back on my blogging time too, but I still race around and read what blogs I can. Thanks for taking the time to leave me comments -- I always love hearing from you! As for the knitting, last night I got on a roll; I'm ready for the "purl" stitch now!

11:59 AM  
Blogger Laini Taylor said...

Oh yeah, and about schools, I'm going to do my first book talk at a local elementary school in two weeks -- just a lunchtime gathering of the kids the librarian knows to be big fantasy readers. Start easing myself into the world of school visits. I'm really excited!

12:00 PM  

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