Amie is teaching me how to do blackout poetry. We are both working with a page, copied from The Secret Garden, and creating different poems from the same text. The idea is to “black out” the words or word fragments you don’t want to use and then create a poem with the shape of what’s left. Have you ever done this before? I didn’t know about the world of Blackout Poetry until Amie showed me a google search of so many examples out there, both visually and word wise. Creating poetry from existing words on a page is such a different way to spend time with literature. I’m finding it fascinating. I could spend hours doing this sort of creative work if Wallace wasn’t dismantling the entire house behind me . . . doing his own version of blackout housework, I suppose!
my desk with little hands
and rose petals
because I want to remember writing here
at Old Gousty
with a view of the woods
Mary Oliver by my side
and rose petals
from roses Grandmommy brought me
and brought me again.
candles for night writing
and an old photo of Maude Louise
(my childhood Airedale)
all of this waiting for me
after Wallace falls asleep
and rain is drumming on the roof
quietly luring me
to my desk
I’ve shared this poem before, haven’t I? Here it is, again.
How it stands out against the darkenings
of the rainy evening, young and pure,
its tendrils arched everywhere in givingness
yet absorbed in its own rose-being;
the shallow flowers, already open here and there,
each unasked for and untended:
thus, immeasurably exceeded by itself
and indescribably self-aroused,
it calls to the wander, who in his evening
meditating comes past along the road:
Oh look at me, see, over here, how safe I am
and unprotected and having all I need.
— Rainer Maria Rilke
November is NaNoWriMo — National Novel Writing Month! Alongside my writing students, I have challenged myself to write a novel during these 30 days. Our goal is 25,000 words, which is the young adult version. (If I get really crazy I’ll try to reach 50,000). Is anyone else out there doing this? Have you done it before? Please share your stories! And don’t worry if I disappear this month: I’m just up here in my office, with co-sleeping bed hed, notebook and pen in hand, while my happy children run wild and free!
This is our home-away-from-homeschool one day a week.
I spend a lot of time on Wednesdays in this classroom at our homeschool partnership where I teach a Writer’s Workshop to middle schoolers and a French class to elementary-age students.
The girls take classes too and help watch Wallace while I teach!
When all the details were coming together this summer, I was excited about the “idea” of teaching. But I didn’t know how much I would like it in real time. But I sure do. I love having a space dedicated to bringing children together to learn. I love listening to all the things they say and ask — and watching their faces light up when we read and have conversations and work on projects. It is all kinds of wonderful.
Cleaning off the table at the end of the week . . . there is much I want to remember and savor here. After two very challenging first weeks, this week was wonderful. The weather. Walks outside. Star gazing. Beach time. Books. Poetry. Writing. Exploring. Wallace’s morning circle. Making wreaths. Shakespeare. Music lessons. Expanding our timeline. Looking at works of great art. Math with Papa. These are the things of my homeschool dreams.
This month’s bundle on “Habit” from Wild + Free is a lovely one. It was a sweet thing to receive the print magazine in the mail yesterday, but I have to admit that I laughed at myself when I turned to this page. “Homeschooling with a Toddler” — I hope this person knows more than I do!
Our beautiful dreamer.
I’m spending more time in June writing and less time taking photographs. I feel a bit like this beautiful sleeping baby: resting in the afternoon air — closing my eyes to the vibrant patterns of light and travelling within.
It’s a bit of a mystery, isn’t it? What lies within a little sleeping soul?