I have spent the past week at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project’s Summer Reading Institute. My brain is bursting with all I have learned from my amazing section leaders and the keynote speakers. My senses are overwhelmed by the sights and sounds of New York City in August. My life is richer because of people I have met and friends I have made. It has been a glorious week.
How could I possibly choose a poem to share today that reflects my week? By focusing on one small piece of my experience.
Each teacher was given a book at the beginning of the week to use as a mentor text for the work of the Institue. I received Becoming Naomi León (Scholastic Press, 2004) by Pam Muñoz Ryan. I have loved every book I’ve read by Ryan, but somehow, I had missed this beautiful story about a young girl finding her true self. Pam Muñoz Ryan’s writing is so lyrical, I wondered if she’d written any poetry. A quick search reminded me about The Dreamer, Ryan’s lovely book about the young Pablo Neruda and led me to this poem:
“I Am Poetry”
by Pam Muñoz Ryan
I am poetry,
waiting to seize the poet.
I ask the questions
for which all answers
I choose no one.
I choose every one.
…if you dare.
I am poetry,
lurking in dappled shadow.
I am the confusion
and gnarled branch.
I am the symmetry
and a bird’s outstretched wings.
Read the rest of the poem here.
If you haven’t read Becoming Naomi León, The Dreamer, or any of Ryan’s other novels for children, read one today. You’ll be glad you did.
Please be sure to visit Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe for the Poetry Friday Round Up.