Liz Garton Scanlon (liz_scanlon) wrote,
Liz Garton Scanlon
liz_scanlon

Poetry Friday -- Sharon Olds and Gratitude x8

Some of the people I'm most grateful for in the whole world are my children's teachers. 

Their pre-school teachers who plunged their hands into clay, muck and mud... who got down on the floor with them to build, hide and roll... who wrote down the funny and brilliant things that they said... who taught them to sing Happy Birthday in Spanish and say thank you in Hebrew and yell Yes! in Dutch.

Their elementary school teachers who taught them (and are teaching one still) to read... to work it out... to explore and experiment. Who have gotten to know them as people... who keep learning real, who keep it challenging, who keep it fun. Who have plans and who go with the flow, who are calm and smart and loving and thoughtful. Who let them use blocks and magnets and bubbles and salt clay and poster board and ipads and their brains and their imaginations.

The middle school teachers who challenge and support, who dare and inquire, who expect and appreciate. Who are teaching that the world is a big place with a lot of people whom we should know a lot about. Who are teaching that a school is a big place with a lot of people who should learn to live and work together. Who believe that learning should be wild and imaginative and intuitive and expansive and fun.

Their piano and violin teachers who have helped developed their ears and their fingers and their sensibilities, attuned now for beauty, for melody and harmony, for rhythm and resonance. 

Their coaches who have helped them stretch and strengthen and compete and cooperate and learn to live in and love their bodily selves.

Their babysitters who taught them how to hold their sleeves when slipping an arm into a jacket, their camp counselors who taught them to sing and to be brave, the women and men who've taught them how to paint and how to sew and how to play with improv, the ones who've taught them how to sit on the high back of a horse and be happy there... 

For all of these people I am grateful. 
My daughters are richer, safer, fuller, more knowledgeable, more inspired and more confident girls because of this wild web of people who've been in our lives.

All the children in the world need teachers.
Actually, all the people in the world need teachers -- long past childhood.
Lucky are we to have so many, in all these hats and coats.
Grateful.


Mrs. Krikorian

BY SHARON OLDS

She saved me. When I arrived in 6th grade,
a known criminal, the new teacher
asked me to stay after school the first day, she said
I’ve heard about you. She was a tall woman,
with a deep crevice between her breasts,
and a large, calm nose. She said,
This is a special library pass.
As soon as you finish your hour’s work—
that hour’s work that took ten minutes
and then the devil glanced into the room
and found me empty, a house standing open—
you can go to the library. Every hour
I’d zip through the work in a dash and slip out of my
seat as if out of God’s side and sail
down to the library, solo through the empty
powerful halls, flash my pass
and stroll over to the dictionary
to look up the most interesting word
I knew, spank, dipping two fingers
into the jar of library paste to
suck that tart mucilage as I
came to the page with the cocker spaniel’s
silks curling up like the fine steam of the body.



(Read the rest here...)
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