My head is still full of wisdom and inspiration from NCTE, but thoughts of Christmas are starting to push them away. As I pondered what to share today, my mind kept returning to my family’s Christmas traditions. My search for a poem that matched my thinking led me to this lovely work by Joyce Sutphen, Minnesota’s Poet Laureate.
What the Heart Cannot Forget
by Joyce Sutphen
Everything remembers something. The rock, its firey bed,
cooling and fissuring into cracked pieces, the rub
of watery fingers along its edge.
The cloud remembers being elephant, camel, giraffe,
remembers being a veil over the face of the sun,
gathering itself together for the fall.
The turtle remembers the sea, sliding over and under
its belly, remembers legs like wings, escaping down
the sand under the beaks of savage birds.
Read the rest of the poem here.
Once I found “What the Heart Cannot Forget” I copied it into my notebook. I suddenly realized I was doing exactly what Linda Rief described during her session with Georgia Heard and Tom Romano at NCTE. Taking Georgia’s “heart maps” a step further, Linda has her students create “heart books.” These books are collections of poems that reflect a topic on their heart maps. (Vicki Vinton describes Linda’s process beautifully at her blog, To Make a Prairie. Linda Baie also wrote about using heart maps with her students at Teacher Dance.)
Maureen Barbieri introduced Linda as a teacher who “encourages her students to share their voices so readers will see the world in new ways.” Joyce Sutphen’s words made me see the world in a new way. More importantly, they spoke to my heart.
Please visit Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge for the Poetry Friday Round Up.