Friday, October 06, 2006

Ten Poems to Last A Lifetime

I love Roger Housden's book TEN POEMS TO LAST A LIFETIME. I like the whole idea of it. In the introduction, he writes, "What is is about honey and bees that engages a beekeeper in his work for a lifetime? Or chimpanzees---Why does the primatologist Jane Goodall spend her working life alone in Africa watching and talking to them? What does a Shakespeare scholar find so fascinating about all those plays, which most of us are glad to be done with at the end of high school? And why do some people return to a few favorite poems over and over again, down through the years, when there are so many other books and anthologies out there just waiting to be digested and absorbed? .... It must be an unending source of discovery, of reflection, solace and insight; of pleasure; and also of warmth and nourishment, in athe way a fire can warm hands, and bread can fill the stomach." I am not one to read poetry anthologies from front to back but I love to find a poem that changes me. That is why I love this book and the concept of it--poems that you can go to over and over and over. Roger Housden mentions later in the introduction that everyone will have his/her own list of poems for a lifetime. I may start my own collection. Wouldn't it be fun for kids to do this? I'd love to see an anthology like this for kids. If you want to think about poems that would make a list of a kid version of an idea like this, we will be happy to post the list--poems that provide kids with some way to make sense of the world, that they could go to over and over. Comment away!

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