It was really hard to say So Long to my poetry kiddos at the end of the school year. (Especially since my husband’s being laid off means we may not be in Florida again by the time the next school year comes along.)
On the last day the kids created artwork for their poetry chapbook covers. Many of them, to my surprise, feature Luke & me. Well, the Luke part isn’t so surprising, really–but seeing myself drawn in markers and crayon and pencil, that was unexpected, emotional.
I went into this volunteer poetry teaching thing thinking I was going to be giving of myself and my time, hoping I could infect some young people with a love of words, like a couple of teachers did for me long ago. But what really happened is that the kids ended up teaching me, inspiring me–with creative energy, with their wild, wide-open hearts and minds, with their generosity and affection and devotion. I am forever changed by them.
I’m so grateful to the principals and teachers who said Yes when I came along with this idea of mine to teach kids to write poetry. I’ve been immeasurably blessed by the community that we all created together, with paper and pencils and one abiding, wiggly, fluffy yellow dog.
If you want to rock your world, if you want to rediscover wonder, if you want to remember what it’s like to craft a universe out of nothing but pale marks on a blank page, if you want to open yourself to boundless imagination and claim the badge of Artist–find a school nearby and spend some time with kids who are hungry for adventure and learning and someone to “play” with them. All they want, what they need, is for someone to show up, to be willing, to hold their hand and holler Jump!
Take the lead for just a little while, and soon they will be pulling you into uncharted territory–they will guide you to places you have forgotten, places you perhaps have never had the urge or the courage to travel to before.
I promise you, it’s worth the ride.
I still have a lot of the children’s poems to transcribe and post, so please keep visiting the site. I’ll also be posting some photos from our last workshops together, and some of the art they created for their poetry chapbooks. Please leave comments for the kids if you like what you see, what you read. They devoted a lot of time and heart to create what you find here in these pages.
Thanks for coming by and supporting us!