Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Jo's poem

A poem Jo wrote during her free-writing time today. Read it as the sad outpouring of a ten year-old, animal-obsessed girl before I give you my thoughts.

some people say you are just a rabbit
and you do not know
the things that humans know
like hurting hearts
and sadness and tears
and love

but I can see
that you are mourning
your loss is real to you
as real as your empty nestbox
and the straw underneath you
that does not hold your babies

Makes you want to give Jo a hug, doesn't it?

Being a literary sort myself, I have nudged my children to give vent to their more raw emotions in writing ever since they were old enough to phonetically piece together something as eloquent as "Im aingree" (this particular sentence was from Atticus at age 3.5).

From those humble beginnings, I have watched my children express excitement, fear, love, friendship, joy and outrage in their writing. I am always delighted when they reach that level of openness in their work that allows me to see the inner wrestlings of their hearts, and a glimpse into their passions. It is, to me, one of the most tender parts of homeschooling; I have witnessed and helped to shape in my children a love for a form of expression that not only allows them to vent their emotions, but helps them to process them as well.

So, it was not unusual that Jo chose to use her writing time to fit together the things that were rubbing against her heart in the most bruised places. Honestly, I just feel honored that I was able to sit beside her afterwards and ask if she wanted to share what she had written with me. (This is a general rule in our house: free writing is free writing. It is only made public if you wish it to be so.)

I read it once in my head, and then again aloud. And this is what I told my daughter:

Your imagery is beautiful.
Your word choices are clear and set a wonderful tone.
I see some of that ee cummings coming out in you!
I really like the cadence of this poem.

And what I thought in my heart was, "Thank you, God, for the gift of writing. Thank you for a pressure valve for our souls."


~ Angi :) said...

Yet again, a roller coaster ride for my emotions.

Humor: "Gee, and to think all I wanted today was a Letter to the Editor from thier pen. I had to pull teeth. Sheesh."

Intense sadness coupled with awe: "Oh, Jo . . .here you are, only 10. 10? That's not an 'only' age. You represent your age well, with maturity and emotional soundness. Your writing skill made my heart bleed. In other words, you conveyed your feelings so well, I could make them my own. Oh, Momma Rabbit. I'm sorry."

A sense of admiration for the teacher: Again. Wow, what you are pouring into your charges. Skill. Talent. Refining. Encouragement. More Refining. Stability and Emotional Health. Bravo.

and finally, yes, thankfulness. As even I have found the haven of the written word, and I know it's power. Without it, I may have perished long ago. . .

Thank YOU for being open in sharing, MG. I count it a sacred trust and honor to view your work and thoughts via a little tool called a blog.

Dawn said...

I'm so sorry about your rabbits. Your daughter's poem is beautiful and touching. I can;t believe she's only 10.