in just–

24 03 2008

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When I was in high school, we didn’t read any of the kinds of poems that I use in my own classroom. Now that I’m working with the amazing and talented Emma Bolden in the Art of Writing Club, I’m learning that my secondary English education was sub-par at best with regard to poetry. The only poem that I can really remember from high school is “Two Roads Diverged in a Wood” by Robert Frost. I’m pretty sure that we had to memorize it. I learned more poems in French than English. So now that Emma and I are collaborating on this project, I have been drinking poems each week, amazed and appalled by my lacking knowledge of this world of words painting other worlds with their sounds, their shapes, and their strange new meanings.

When I started teaching high school English, e.e. cummings soon became my favorite poet. His beautiful invention never ceases to fill me with a sense of awe. I simply relish the following poem, which captures the day that I spent with Ruthie collecting all of the flowers that have bloomed within a 2-mile radius of our house. By the time we were finished, she was covered in fresh cut blooms. Her favorite was the big pink one with pollen in the middle. She kept pointing at it with a serious countenance, warning me: “Make you sneeze, Mommy.”

Spring is like a perhaps hand
(which comes carefully
out of Nowhere)arranging
a window, into which people look (while
people stare
arranging and changing placing
carefully there a strange
thing and a known thing here) and

changing everything carefully

spring is like a perhaps
Hand in a window
(carefully to
and from moving New and
Old things, while
people stare carefully
moving a perhaps
fraction of flower here placing
an inch of air there) and

without breaking anything

e.e. cummings

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3 responses

25 03 2008
emmabolden

First of all, Ruthie continues to be a.) a genius and b.) the cutest. I demand more Ruthie pics for the people.
Second of all, OMG that e.e. cummings poem. So good. So good.
Third of all, have you ever read Frank O’Hara?
Fourth of all, Chex mix.

26 03 2008
wlr

I have uploaded a picture for you, my sweet. I’m really happy that you enjoy the poem… I tried my hardest not to be cliche. I am googling Frank O’Hara right now and I am crunching very loudly into the silence of my classroom (held hostage by the SAT 10) on a garlicy chip of rye.

30 03 2008
dad

I am in Starbucks at the airport in Seattle at 6:30 am waiting for a 10:00 flight home . I am soaking in e.e., melting into Ruthie’s beautiful face, and feeling an overwhelming urge to hug my dear beautiful Whitney, and spending one more sun soaked Sunday afternoon driving with you in our 280z with the t-tops open!! I love you!

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