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a quote from my favorite author

“The most solid advice, though, for a writer is this, I think: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell, and when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.”

-William Saroyan, The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze

Sunday, March 8, 2015

VINTAGE SLICE #8

I came across an old tweet of Cris Tovani's this morning--a Donalyn Miller quote.  It reminded me of this old slice of life.  
March 21, 2011
Trying on Poetry

“I could feel that swarm of feelings buzzing in my chest day and night.  I needed some kind of container to hold all of them.  Poetry became that container.”
-Ralph Fletcher, from Poetry Matters: Writing a Poem from the Inside Out
I have been feeling that swarm of feelings buzzing inside my chest day and night.  I want poetry to be my container too.  My apologies to Sylvia Plath who wrote these lines I borrowed:
You ask me why I spend my life writing?
Do I find entertainment?
Is it worthwhile?
Above all, does it pay?
If not, then, is there a reason? …
I write only because
There is a voice within me
That will not be still.
My attempt at filling a container:

independent reading
you ask me to justify
why I allow my students to
read
independently

is it worthwhile?
do they enjoy it?
above all, does it raise test scores?

I allow my students to
read
independently
simply because there is a voice within me
that will not be still

it is the voice of an educator
who longs to inspire
lifelong readers
to feel
to hope
to participate
to communicate
to grow
to read
their way through this world

it is the voice of a citizen
who wants to inhabit a world
of people who know what
it is like to walk in someone else’s shoes

it is the voice of an educator
who longs to inspire
it is a voice—
my voice

2 comments:

  1. Powerful words in 2011 and even more so in 2015. I'm giving you a standing ovation, because everyone deserves one sometime in their life.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You do inspire, your students, others and me. I love your poem.

    ReplyDelete