Saturday, October 10, 2009

Poetry Saturday -- Snap Out of It

Okay, folks. We've had our little whine-fest about how busy we are in October. Now it's time to snap out of it and look at the big picture, remember the vast importance of the work we do in our classrooms, not get bogged down on the little stuff when the big stuff is so huge.

Of History and Hope
by Miller Williams

We have memorized America,
how it was born and who we have been and where.
In ceremonies and silence we say the words,
telling the stories, singing the old songs.
We like the places they take us. Mostly we do.
The great and all the anonymous dead are there.
We know the sound of all the sounds we brought.
The rich taste of it is on our tongues.
But where are we going to be, and why, and who?
The disenfranchised dead want to know.
We mean to be the people we meant to be,
to keep on going where we meant to go.

But how do we fashion the future? Who can say how
except in the minds of those who will call it Now?
The children. The children. And how does our garden grow?
With waving hands—oh, rarely in a row—
and flowering faces. And brambles, that we can no longer allow.

(the rest is here)

Thank you to Liz for sharing this poem (and her thoughts on the selection of Barack Obama for the Nobel Peace Prize) for Poetry Friday.


  1. Thanks for the reminder. It is quite a responsibility we have. And an honor.

  2. I was at the HRC National Dinner last night and heard Obama speak, and because he was focused on the LGBT agenda, education was barely mentioned. But this poem (which I would like to stand up and speak with a crowd this Sunday morning) gets, as Liz points out, at all the ways that teaching is a political act of hope and optimism. Thanks--just what I needed this morning!


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