Happy Poetry Friday, and Happy November!
The end of October always brings a special week my way – and, most years, the most mentally and physically demanding week, but always wonderful. For several years I've had the good fortune to participate in Cobb EMC/Gas South Literacy Week in a couple of counties just north of Atlanta. These energy companies which fuel homes and bring light to read by brighten the lives of school children through sponsoring author visits, with a dozen or so visiting and local authors fanning out into dozens of schools. This year, I believe the tally was something like 44 schools and 24,000 kids! (I saw close to a tenth of those in my visits.)
I try to keep my presentations lively and interactive and multi-genre-friendly, and I always infuse them with poetry (my own and poems by others). This year I was happy to take along the hot-off-the-press POEMS ARE TEACHERS by our own Amy Ludwig VanDerwater (yep – our giveaway winner is announced at the end of today’s post! Click here for my celebratory post of two weeks ago. )
I remember a radio commercial from when I was growing up in Orlando, with a couple of country-fied male characters arguing at a car dealership. The gist and the hook was, “You can’t put two tons of fertilizer in a one-ton truck!” [I can still “hear” that phrase!] Of course, with school visits and life in general, that never stops me from trying.
I didn’t have time to share everything I’d brought with every group, but a couple of times I was able to share Irene Latham’s beautiful poem from POEMS ARE TEACHERS. (She recently shared it with an image of the Van Gogh painting that inspired it here .)
A Dream of Wheat
After Green Wheat Fields, Auvers
by Vincent Van Gogh
From a plain
packet of seeds
comes sun –
seasoned by wind
and rain –
in a sea of wheat
that will someday
©Irene Latham. All rights reserved. Posted and shared with permission.
I paired Irene’s poem with this favorite from Emily Dickinson (1830-1886):
To make a prairie (1755)
To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,
One clover, and a bee,
The revery alone will do
If bees are few.
Complete Poems. 1924.
I hope the kids enjoyed exploring how imagination can populate a field, or conjure up a whole prairie. And perhaps they learned a new word, if they didn’t know it already – “revery.” (Reverie – such a lovely word and state of mind!) Many thanks to Irene for sharing her poem today, and to Emily, and to bees.
In this season of harvest, I hope your own fields are golden with poems.
Now, drumroll please –
The randomly drawn winner of POEMS ARE TEACHERS, kindly offered by Heinemann, is…..
KIESHA SHEPARD! (Kiesha, email me your snail-mail address to email@example.com, and I’ll get it into the right hands at the publisher.) :0)
For a whole bounty of poetic inspirations, visit Teacher Dance where our lovely and thoughtful Linda B. has the Roundup this week.