Poem-in-your-pocket Day

It’s been hard to choose just one poem to put in my pocket today. I love several poems by Luke Rickford. If I were as important as Ralph Waldo Emerson, I would love to give Rickford my endorsement as the next great American poet as Emerson did for Walt Whitman, until–John Marsh related Sunday–Whitman began to write about his robust sexuality. I will settle for pointing out a book in which some of Rickford’s early work appeared: Falling Hard: 100 Love Poems by Teenagers. Rickford does occasionally post poems online if you care to search. Teens who want to review, imitate, or otherwise respond to Falling Hard would be welcome to submit their work to the multi-media youth publication HappeningNow!Everywhere.

Here I wil instead share some of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s words as I think they are by now in the public domain. They not originally written as a poem, I hope they offer an inspiring thought: “We have a great deal more kindness than is ever spoken. The whole human family is bathed with an element of love like a fine ether. How many persons we meet in houses, whom we scarcely speak to, whom yet we honor and who honor us! How many we see in the street, or sit with in church, whom though silently, we warmly rejoice to be with! Read the language of these wandering eyebeams. The heart knoweth.” (Can be found in his essay on friendship through Googlebooks.)

Related post:

National Poetry Month 2009!

Contemporary philosophers

In Leap! The Movie, some contemporary philosophers reflect on the utltimate game of life we are playing in the virtual reality we call the physical universe. They also acknowledge how old the idea is, from as disparate sources as the Vedic Scriptures, Plato, Woody Allen, and more. This is a great introduction to an idea that I think could take humanity to the next paradigm shift, but it is just an introduction. I find this an interesting argument advancing the premise that we may be dreaming. We have to wake up, which I think entails relinquishing the ego. But in the meantime let’s make it a happy dream, a feel-good movie for ourselves and the apparent “others.”

Take life lightly and see how easy things become.

Latest Book Club Picks

As baseball season gets underway the fourth graders will dine on hot dogs and ice cream as they discuss Ethan’s choice: Jackie & Me. I look forward to tonight’s discussion as this particular group really listens to one another, and the questions Ethan sent are the first yet to raise issues of race in American history.

Next week Rebecca hosts the sixth-graders’ discussion of her book choice, The Name of This Book is Secret. My sixth-grader is borrowing her younger sister’s copy, just so you know these aren’t strictly grade-level choices even though I use grade designations to distinguish the two clubs.

Find aStore for the 3-page history of parent-child book club picks in or aStore, or track back for Related Posts through

Kalvin’s pick for April book club

A few ideas for Earth Day

Yesterday my family went to the ECHO Lake Aquarium, on the Burlington, VT edge of Lake Champlain. One exhibit featured work that the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps has done to conserve habitat around Lake Champlain. Youth Conservation Corps are a project of the National Park Service. There might be one near you.

(Oh, and just for fun we also toured Vermont Teddy Bear factory, displaying a large photo of the plush animal’s namesake, Teddy Roosevelt, instrumental in starting the National Park Service if I remember my history correctly.)

I love seeing how children and youth care for the environment. Last month we visited The Butterfly Farm in Grand Cayman where we learned that children gave crucial help in saving the Cayman Swallowtail. It had been endangered after Hurricane Ivan (Sept. 11-12, 2004) ravaged its only food source.

Of course your environmental stewardship does not have to wait for a natural disaster.  A Boston Globe article profiled three urban families raising kids without a car. Janie Katz-Christy, the mother in one featured family, is one of the initiators of Walk/Ride Days.

What do you observe youth doing to conserve the environment? Please post in the comments. Thanks!

Related post:

“Green” Fridays & Walk-to-School Days

National Poetry Month 2009!

April is National Poetry Month and poets.org has some suggestions for how you might celebrate:

  • Poem-A-Day: Subscribe to the Poem-A-Day email to receive a new poem each day during National Poetry Month.
  • National Poetry Map: Find out what’s going on in your state.
  • Poem In Your Pocket Day: April 30 is “Poem In Your Pocket” Day. Simply select a favorite poem to keep in your pocket to share with friends, family, coworkers.

There are unlimited ways in which to celebrate poetry. Poets.org offers thirty suggestions right off the bat. You can also visit www.poets.org/audio for poetry mobile ringtones or www.poets.org/mobile for a mobile version of the web site. Teachers will want to visit the Tips for Teachers page, to discover fun ways to celebrate poetry in the classroom.

Recommended reading:

How to Eat a Poem

Wishes, Lies, & Dreams: Teaching Children to Write Poetry