Tuesday, September 27, 2005

My students full of grace

Tonight I went to my first poetry reading at Grace Church. For some reason, the whole thing reminded me of my friend Katherine who is a pastor (hence, a quite logical connection) in California now, but I knew her from college. The pastor of this church spoke of the connection between music, poetry, and prayer. I thought of lines from Katherine's poems, her spare creeds if you will, her celebration of life.

In class, my students have been championing the poems they call simple, the poems that speak of human condition, of love and haircuts. They call each other's poems winners when they like them a lot. They all have nicknames and identities emerging: the dark one, the one who always comments on titles, the one who writes beach poems, the one who writes poems that make us blush. They love the vivid images and sensory details. Today we debated over the use of the word "undies" in a poem. Was it too cute? Was it just right? I thought the poem was about red, but it was really about pink, but in Hebrew. Now you're turning varod. I giggled too. There is something so humbling in listening to them chatter and discuss. I don't think poetry has ever been so much fun for me.

The other day a friend of mine said he was grateful. I had not been sure of what he meant until today, sitting in the chuch, with the simple arches and high ceiling with a bass player and a poet and thinking back to all of the laughter in class this morning--for all of this, I am grateful.

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