Friday, January 16, 2015
Poetry Friday -- Languages
I'm between audio books right now, so I'm catching up on podcasts of the NPR TED Radio Hour. Earlier in the week, I was listening to the program, "Playing with Perceptions." One segment features academic activist and poet Jamila Lyiscott. She's a first-generation American. Her parents are from Trinidad and she grew up in Crown Heights in Brooklyn. She's working on her PhD in Literature and Race at Columbia and describes herself as a "tri-tongued orator."
When she was about 19, she was asked to be a guest on an academic panel. After participating in her very best, most polished Academic English, a woman came up to her and told her she was very "articulate."
This is the poem she wrote in response to that experience.
The transcript is here if you'd rather read the poem.
I'm thinking hard about checking my perceptions at the door, especially when it comes to the languages my students speak.
Irene has the Poetry Friday roundup this week at Live Your Poem.