“We are all poems in search of a VOICE.” -Lolly Daskal
I didn’t know what had drawn me to Twitter a few days ago.
I had SO much to do and pretty much have the discipline to DO THINGS in my life that must get done.
But here I was, my fingers dancing along my keyboard, early in the day.
As I scrolled along for a few moments, I landed on Lolly Daskal, and from there, was intrigued with Lolly’s book and ordered it; maybe on a whim, maybe a heart tug, maybe a gift of reflection to myself, maybe “a balance of brain and heart” wisdom, as suggested?
The book arrived through the mail yesterday afternoon.
I love mail. I don’t know what I’d do if the postal mail delivery flounders and all we have are electronic mail systems.
I also love pencils. And erasers. Erasers that don’t quite erase that first thought or thoughts. And notebooks.
I was a high school teacher for 30 years, teaching English and Reading to oft-times reluctant readers. Many, many of those 30 years, I taught a unit of Poetry. Poetry was the one genre of literature that frightened (OK, emotionally paralyzed) the most students, most especially young men – high school boys.
This Poetry Unit included both reading and analyzing poetry, as well as writing poetry.
It would become my favorite unit of study each year. I knew I could penetrate some of the poetry fear and maybe not create lovers or disciples of poetry, but encourage young men and women to respect the art and gift of poetry.
I’ve been retired from teaching for 13 years. I wrote a screenplay during my first summer of retirement, based on my teaching of English and Reading and Poetry – described by one reviewer as “the Wayans’ Brothers meets Dead Poet Society.”
I named it Bitten Apples, from a line in Edgar Lee Masters’ Spoon River Anthology — “They were strong children, promising as apples/Before the bitten places show.”
I like that. It’s true.
I got out each emotion, each student, each moment, each day, each year of those 30 years through that screenplay… somehow. A catharsis, of sorts. A release of the sense of retirement, and open to a whole new world. A notion that I had other things to do and to write.
Then I felt I could move on.
I created a blog with my two adult daughters, Audrey & Jane — MomGenerations.com. I write in a diarist-style, as well as product reviews of things I love. I’m writing this very post at this very moment for my Mom Generations blog.
I have been blessed with 11, soon-to-be-12, grandkids and my 91-year old Mom, whom I Caregive, has moved into an assisted-living facility. My own 4 children are well into adulthood and happily married. And my husband, my rock, is my best friend and my very heart. I’m a very loved, very blessed, very busy woman.
So, back to dancing along on Twitter a few days ago?
Because I was supposed to find this page, this one page, in Lolly’s book…
I opened the book to this one page and realized something that has been swimming around in my brain for years and years and years — and that is — I’ve wanted to write Poetry, just like I wanted my students to write Poetry.
To take all the courage, creativity, wisdom and lessons — to take all the blessings, love, thoughts and meditations — to take all the heartache, loss, challenges and depth of everyday life — all the moments — seeing my Mom age, seeing new grandbabies born as others journey through teenagehood — seeing Life and Nature and Moments upon Moments come – and go.
My favorite poetry form to teach was Haiku.
Haiku, with its precision — its capture of moments of Beauty or Image or Sense. Haiku, with its 17 syllables that my students thought would be so easy, because this poem style is so short.
Haiku would become the most difficult of all because it is so short.
Each letter, each syllable, each word must count — count in number and in meaning.
I’ve wanted to take one month of one year, for as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to take one month of one year and write a Haiku on each of those days of that month.
I’ve wanted to capture moments.
I’ve wanted to capture moments.
Otherwise invisible moments.
I’ve been Poems in Search of a Voice for a very long time.
Lolly Daskal is the teacher who’s gifted me with these words that my brain and heart can do this, will do this.
I’m jumping right in on March 1, 2016. I will be writing one Haiku per day, 31 in all. With pencils and erasers and notebooks.
I am the Poems in search of a Voice.
The Voices are all around me — in every person, in each encounter, in each emotion, in each sunrise and sunset, in each breath and sense and scene — everywhere — waiting for me to capture the Voices of the universe, my universe.
I will listen.
Deep listening means more than hearing with our ears.
AND A goal is a dream with a deadline.
March 31st is my deadline!
31 Haiku in Search of a Voice.