13 July 2011

Project Forward Leap

I'm working at a summer residential program, and today was a day of poetry. In study hall the students I'm working with were tasked with writing a poem using one of several poetic elements: hyperbole, simile, rhyme, etc. So to show we are all in this together, I wrote a poem on the board. I don't think they cared for it very much. Here it is:



They've been learning poetry in their English class, as a matter of fact, and I have to say reading some of their work has brought me close to tears. The way they describe themselves is simply beautiful. They are leaves. They are trees. They are taller than trees but not taller than the sky. They are the dark side of the sky. Where in the world does that come from? The dark side of the sky! Beautiful! It's enough to make a full-grown poet burn with jealousy. Just ask me. I'm all aflame.

Today is phone call day. Which means a lot of anxious waiting, a lot of smiles, and a lot of tears. As I sit here listening to the girls on the phone, their eager voices explaining their new ways of life to their parents, slowly but surely restating each important detail to every single member of their family who's near enough the phone to talk, bawling as they insist they're having a good time, I can't help but admire them. Each of them. They are walking, breathing, poetry. Poetry in motion on nine, ten, and eleven year old legs.

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