Tag Archives: poetry

I Like You

More memoirs for monday.  My writing resolution this week came to me from my sister who asked if I would write a birthday prayer or poem for her daughter’s birthday this next weekend.  I have no idea how to recount the life of a two year old, but I’ll give it my best go.

I’ve said before that I don’t remember that far back into my childhood.  My mother saved a letter I once wrote to the Eater Bunny in which I made him a friendship bracelet out of sewing floss.  In exchange, I asked him for tomato soup.  My sister tells me, my niece, Sonja, is fond of asking for apples and butter.  To her relief, she learned Sonja meant peanut butter and not just straight up margarine mayhem!

For her birthday, I suggested a simple, dramatic reading of I Like You by Sandol Stoddard Warburg.

But if that won’t do, I guess I’m back to Butt-in-the-Chair Approach and making lists about my crazy family.

Things About Sonja That Make Her Unique

  1. Say the word ‘bath’ and she’ll run to the bathroom, fill the tub with toys, and begin undressing.
  2. Applesauce is definitely a hair product.
  3. The television is meant for toddler’s reflections so they can see themselves dancing in the screen.
  4. Eat with old people, they love her schtick.
  5. Singing and shopping go hand in hand.
  6. Xylophones are to be played with greatest zeal.
  7. BFF = giraffe head, named Rafi
  8. Avacado smoothies are delicious.
  9. When mad, shake your whole body like a maraca
  10. When happy, smile like a total cheese

I think I could manage a haiku, but a sestina???

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For Huckleberry

In light of the recent book banning of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, it got me thinking about books that have made a difference to me.  I certainly read the Twain novel in high school, and I recall it starting many open discussions in the classroom.  Introduced at the right age level, books like “Huckleberry” are a picture of history.  If we change the language of the book, how are we not also erasing a bit of history?  I already believe much of history is lost since it’s always written by only the ones that survive the times!  We need books like this one to arouse open conversations and tell us about our nation’s past.  I highly recommend you check out CMStewart‘s blog for more on the Huckleberry book ban.  Unabridgedgirl also has a discussion started on Mark Twain and book bans, too.

What I’d like to share with you is one author who I adore.  Frankly, her book of poems titled The Fact of a Doorframe is my Bible.  If that upsets anyone, I apologize, but I just mean, her words touch my soul.  Her name is Adrienne Rich and I could easily write an entire blog daily all about her.  I think over the course of college, I wrote like 10 papers on her.  She has many books out written about her experiences as a mother, a Jew, a lesbian, and a woman.  But it is her poetry which I find so haunting and illuminating at the same time.

I invite you all to check out her poem “The Burning of Paper Instead of Children.” This poem is the one I happened to flip to when I was perusing the campus bookstore shelves at NYU.  Of all the books I’ve ever thumbed through in my life, I have never had a book call out to me so strongly.  On what was a tagalong trip to New York while my best friend toured a campus I could never afford to go to, I found a saving grace in the bookstore.  For the next several years I emulated her writing as much as I could, but that’s beside the point.  I just wanted to share a work that inspired me and moved me so much, and I hope you all enjoy it too.  Rich was never afraid to write about “monsters,” as she called them.  And with all that’s happening over the book ban news burst, I found this poem again to be very fitting.

I hope she inspires you as she has me over and over again.  Happy reading!

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