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My Poor Neglected Blog February 25, 2006

Posted by Amy in Uncategorized.
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Little Teachermama blog, I want to post more. And I will–in two weeks, when I’m on spring break and not overloaded with student papers. For now, here’s the updated list: Morningside Heights by Cheryl Mendelsohn, Blackbird by Jennifer Lauck, and Literary Mama: Readings for the Maternally Inclined.

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Belated Friday Poetry Blogging February 4, 2006

Posted by Amy in Uncategorized.
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Kindness

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing. 
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
it is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you every where
like a shadow or a friend.

 ~ Naomi Shihab Nye ~

 

(Words From Under the Words: Selected Poems)

Love and Other Impossible Pursuits by Ayelet Waldman February 2, 2006

Posted by Amy in Uncategorized.
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Just finished this the other day, and I’ll be seeing Ayelet Waldman speak next Thursday, so I’ll wait until then to write much. As a stepmom, I appreciated reading a story about a stepmother character who seemed pretty realistic. The fact that her baby had just died of SIDS seemed almost too much, though. I had a hard time believing it–one of those things that might happen in real life but be too strange for fiction, perhaps– and I also felt like it wasn’t necessary to the story. The stepmother experience itself was enough drama for a whole book. And while I am an pretty avid fan of her work, I was distracted, as always, by shifts in tone and bit players who seemed too vaguely depicted. I think I like Daughter’s Keeper better than this, but I still couldn’t put this book down.

Other books read lately: Confessions of a Naughty Mommy by Heidi Raykeil–loved this and will be writing much more about it on mamazine. Also Seeing Past Z by Beth Kephardt, which has some good concrete suggestions for helping kids as they’re discovering the creative possibilities of reading and writing. Starting Zadie Smith’s newest and finishing What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Language and Literacy by James Paul Gee right now. My kids will be grateful for that last one, I’m sure.