Tuesday, June 30, 2009
to you? Whatever they want.
They can set you up, they can
bust you, they can break
your fingers, they can
burn your brain with electricity,
blur you with drugs till you
can't walk, can't remember, they can
take your child, wall up
your lover. They can do anything
you can't stop them
from doing. How can you stop
them? Alone, you can fight,
you can refuse, you can
take what revenge you can
but they roll over you.
back to back can cut through
a mob, a snake-dancing file
can break a cordon, an army
can meet an army.
sane, can give support, conviction,
love, massage, hope, sex.
Three people are a delegation,
a committee, a wedge. With four
you can play bridge and start
an organization. With six
you can rent a whole house,
eat pie for dinner with no
seconds, and hold a fund raising party.
A dozen make a demonstration.
A hundred fill a hall.
A thousand have solidarity and your own newsletter;
ten thousand, power and your own paper;
a hundred thousand, your own media;
ten million, your own country.
it starts when you care
to act, it starts when you do
it again and they said no,
it starts when you say We
and know you who you mean, and each
day you mean one more.
Alfred A. Knopf, Copyright 1980 by Marge Piercy.
"Poetry 180 is designed to make it easy for students to hear or read a poem on each of the 180 days of the school year. I have selected the poems you will find here with high school students in mind. ... Listening to poetry can encourage students and other learners to become members of the circle of readers for whom poetry is a vital source of pleasure. I hope Poetry 180 becomes an important and enriching part of the school day."
I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide
or press an ear against its hive.
I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,
or walk inside the poem's room
and feel the walls for a light switch.
I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author's name on the shore.
But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.
They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.
from The Apple that Astonished Paris, 1996
University of Arkansas Press, Fayetteville, Ark.
Copyright 1988 by Billy Collins. All rights reserved.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
One of my daily news sources is the British Guardian, and today as I was reading, I ran across an article on Siobhan Dowd. Her book Bog Child, which she finished just three months before her death from cancer, has taken the Carnegie medal for children's literature. She is its first posthumous winner. What struck me most was a quote included in the article. She said,
if a child can think, they are free."
I agree so very much. As a tutor for many years, I've seen a direct correlation between literacy and quality of life. As teachers we are charged with an awesome task, often under challenging circumstances. But we must never lose sight of its importance. If you're interested, here is the link to that article.
but a lamp to be lit."
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Any idea where it comes from?
The charters of freedom
The Library of congress
School house rock / Preamble
School house rock / Declaration of Independence
My kids just LOVED School House Rock. Who am I kidding? So did I.
I think it's a great tool for use in the classroom, to augment the curriculum.
His images are strong, painted with the sure hand of an artist.
- Langston Hughes
Are not available
To the dreamers,
To the singers.
In some lands
And cold steel
But the dream
Will come back,
And the song
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
Our world seems to be awash in incompetence these days.
I am following the valiant struggle for justice going on in Iran at this moment. There is so much I would like to say, but my thoughts are muddled so silence would be the better choice.
The green ribbon at left is their symbol for victory, and below it I have posted a feed with current information. It links to The Daily Dish, by Andrew Sullivan, a respected British blogger and political commentator. There is an almost real time following of the events on the internet as they unfold. The internet has given us a way around the censorship and propaganda of the oppressors as well as the disinterest of a profit driven media.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Monday, June 8, 2009
Two lines from an e.e. Cummings poem, You Shall Above All Things, have been stuck in my head all week. (Maybe they'll stick in yours.)
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance