Thursday, December 06, 2007

Going to SF to visit my sister this morning. We're meeting at SF MOMA where there is a show of Joseph Cornell boxes. Very exciting.
I have not yet written out my proposed syllabus for seventh graders. Maybe I never will. My friend who teaches sent this poem from a 6th grader she's working with. Maybe I'll just show them this poem and stand over them with my hands in fists on my hips and my head making a shadow on each of their desks and say things like, "why can't you ever write something this good? You're OLDER," in a growly slightly needy voice.
I am the Queen of History

With a voice like crackling wood
My hair is fine silver dust
My eyes are golden marbles
My hands are crinkling paper
My feet are the fossils of dinosaurs
I float about King Tut’s tomb
I play with the triceratops
Dance with the Incas

I know everything about a person before I meet them
I know everything that has ever happened to them
I can read their past like a newspaper

With my sparkling blue book
I offer the gift to let creatures see the past
But I will only let people who need
To see the past read my blue book
If somebody writes a question
In my blue book
The answer will come to them

When I cascade over a town
Everyone knows that I am there
They sense the past wherever they are
And they are flung back to childhood
They get together with old friends
Heal old quarrels
Cherish old memories

Everybody begs for me to let them see the past
I don’t let anybody who begs
But I would let a poor man struggling to survive see the past
If he needed to
My life is one of giving and moving backward
Watching and holding back
Waiting and listening
by S. S.-S., 6th grader
Bye now.

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