Friday, May 26, 2006

it's still friday

So here is another poem, one from Things I Have to Tell You: one of the books some teachers apparently think they need to ban from themselves.

New Honesty

Today I gave up
a pomising career of "truth."
Profound state of love
stepped in like a puzzle piece.
Completing, no, not
the Empire State Building,
not Mt. Rushmore or
van Gogh's Sunflowers.
Completing instead
my departure from "honesty."
Can I find a balance
between me and
the box I call my family?
I want equilibrium.
I want change.
I want to tell the Truth,
not the truth of the woman
who snapped on a collar
and named me alive.
Like a plastic ball,
I toss between myself
and the various identities
I have been assigned.
Look out—I fell in the mud.
Look out—I opened my mouth,
and out came ideas
you don’t think are pretty.
I suppose it would be scary
to be a ventriloquist who found out
her dummy can talk,
to find the doll had a brain
and opinions that will bite
when provoked.
I suppose it would be scary
if I opened my coat
and showed you all my secrets.
Would you call me a flasher
and file charges?
Would you gaze blindly
refusing to see the Truth:
I’m sorry to tell you
that I’m not sorry anymore.
I can only run for so long
and so far.
I’m done,
and I'm throwing up my Truth
like a marathon runner
at the end
of a 16-year race.

--Jessie Childress, age 16

Hermione and Sara and Lyra, oh my!

Jen Robinson is collecting nominations for a list of the coolest girls in children's literature. Go and add your suggestions!

(Link fixed. I hope.)

book banning brought up in the blogs. blimey!

Liz B. blogged today about a fellow who is using book-banner's lists as a way of finding good books for his kids! Having been on the other side of that, I'm very tickled.

Far less tickling--more like infurienting and disgusting--is a book complaint brought to my attention at Bookshelves of Doom. Quite apart from the fact that the books in question are just unbelievably good, and an almost certain pull for reluctant readers, they were not even given to kids to read. They were offered to teachers as potential supplementary material. But God forbid teachers be given any opportunity to use their own judgement and knowledge of their students.

I suppose I can just be grateful to be in the company of the fellow mentioned above; my copies of Things I Have to Tell You and You Hear Me? have been on my son's future-YA shelves since before he was born.

Poetry Friday

I was so perturbed by the possible subconscious implications MotherReader found in my recent blog titles, I completely forgot about Poetry Friday. So Evan is filling in with one of his favorite poems:

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting--
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.≈

--Mary Oliver

oh dear

MotherReader points out: "BTW, I noticed your list of previous posts on the side and I have to ask, are you getting some strange searches leading to your blog? Cause you did follow-up "Definition of Anal" with "Alternatives to Sex" and then "weird-ass" all as blog titles. You must have attracted some disappointed men this week."

Uh.... sorry, dudes!

And here I was feeling annoyed at myself just for using the phrase "rather sad" twice in a row!