Friday, January 21, 2011

Poetry Friday: Nostalgia

Today's host is Tara Smith at A Teaching Life.
Please visit there for links to more poetry.

Today Tara featured a poem by Svea Barrett
"For My Students Who Bring Me Poems After School"
that it hit me exactly where I am.

Yesterday, I visited the local high school and spent time with two groups of students in the library. I had a wonderful time, but just as the bell rang ending the second session a student approached with her poems. She wanted me to read them, but it was hard for her to do so. It was, she said, the only copy. But then she remembered that the poems were in her computer, too.

It is very hard to hand over a poem to a reader.
I remember that feeling.

It is also very hard to provide the help that a young poet might really need, which might have nothing to do with reshaping a poem.

This photo is the work of Miroslaw Swietak.
When I was a teacher, I had a role well-defined to fall back on. Now, the boundaries are murkier. I remember though, when someone noticed me and reached out. Sometimes it was big, like the neighbor who paid for weekend art classes at the university after she saw one of my drawings when I was twelve. Sometimes it was small, like when a teacher said, "You have to go to university. You can figure out how."

Today's poem is a reminder to myself not to get too sentimental about all this.
It is from my Eudaemonia Cycle.

Today's illustration is a photo by Miroslaw Swietak. Please go see more of his photos.

Nostalgia creeps along
tasting the world with its feet
that are equipt
with tiny hooks to help it cling.
In certain lights, all spangled up with water,
it is exquisitely beautiful,
but when the light changes and the wind shifts
it disappears. 
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