Saturday, May 02, 2009

In Lieu of National Poetry Month

April was National Poetry Month.   I don't know that because my kids have projects to do at school, or because I'm such a great reader that I just happen to know those kind of things.    I know that only because of my friend.    And because her love for writing seeps into everything she does, and I love that.   

I never had a fun school librarian.   I never got excited about reading, unless it was with my family.    I don't have memories of ever celebrating reading at school events.     The only thing I remember about my elementary school librarian was that she owned a hot air balloon.  I guess that's why Kari's idea sounded so cool to me.    I was so excited about it, that I decided to read more poetry with my children this month.    

About a year ago, my grandmother asked me if River knew all her Mother Goose rhymes.    I thought to myself, "What???  Are you kidding me?  NO!!!"   But, I simply said, "She knows some of them, and loves to read them, but she doesn't know all of them."   I even felt kind of offended, like I hadn't been doing something that I obviously should have.    But something about what she said stood out to me.   I think that there is a part of life that used to be so simple, but with all our things to do and places to go, is lost.   Our weeks are spent going from party to party, and event to event.    We hardly ever just sit and read.     But this month we have opened our poetry books a little bit more, and we have even started learning The Swing together.    River can recite the first stanza already!   Now whenever we go swinging, it's what she wants to say.

I'm thankful for lots of things about my friend - her honesty, her sense of humor, her love for justice, just to name a few.  But this month she not only encouraged me to read more, and to teach my children a newfound love of poetry, she won the hearts of a lot of kids with reading and writing.   Not only that, but to actually use it to make a difference in this world.   Not a lot of people encourage you to do that.   Especially to a bunch of middle school kids to whom a lot of people are just a bunch of punks and gang bangers.     Now, these kids see themselves as readers...and maybe even...poets!    To hear how her celebration of National Poetry Month went, you can check this out.   It's pretty awesome.   


Kari said...

Thank you. That's very sweet. On Friday, some of the staff confessed that they thought I would get, you know, five poems or something, so I am extra relieved it worked. :)

And I am glad that you are sharing our poem with River. :)

Em @ Bunch of Scrap said...

Very fun! I love your new header BTW!

Ainsley said...

I'm sad to say my boys don't know any poem or nursery rhymes. And I was an English major! I'll have to get right on that.=)

What a sweet picture.