Friday, November 17, 2017
live from #ncte17
The specially honored yesterday were Katherine Bomer and Randy Bomer, and rather than summarizing the significance of their work or their talk, I'll pull out one small thing that Katherine said, about how, since her first NCTE in 1989, this event seems to come along just when teachers really need it. "Is it that way for you, too?" she asked, and there were nods and "Mm-hmms" and not exactly any "AMENS," but the room said "yes."
So I'm going back to understand why this 3rd week of November event has felt so important to me over the years, and see how it turns into a poem!
2011 Chicago & boots
2012 Las Vegas
2014 Washington DC
2017 St. Louis
November Comes, Town Emerges
the whole country travels,
travels home for our
Even the least blessed among us
have something to be thankful for,
But before that travel
some of the more blessed
travel home to English Town,
to Reading Town, to Writing Town,
wherever it may be this year,
and some of us most blessed
come home to Poetry Town.
We meet at the foot of
something large and shiny:
lowly LOVE, a faceted globe,
a bell tower domed in gold,
a gateway arch that leads into
a lofty cloud which opens
onto a village green.
We are surrounded by little cottages
built of books, filled with windows
and mirrors made of words.
We greet each other,
sighing with relief.
In back are the chickens,
which we feed every day
unless something gets in the way,
but we know that our neighbors
will take care if we are distracted.
And there is so much to distract:
the world outside seems made of guns,
made of floods and flame and hate.
We take a knee,
crushed up like velvet
under the weight of statues;
we poets fire back with delicate,
plush, lustrous words, risking
everything with an air of expectancy.
We poets put on our boots
with the transparent, permeable
soles that let in the grass, the puddle,
the crackling leaf, the sand, the snow,
the road less traveled, the mile
in another one's shoes
and we march back out of Poetry Town
leaving the gate on the latch
for any passerby who needs
to come into the house of our poem.
draft HM 2017
The round-up today is with Jane the Rain City Librarian. Put on your poetry boots and march on over for a visit to Poetry Town!