Saturday, April 16, 2005

Teaching is running in place....

I recently came across the following poem that Jim Brooks, a distinguished English teacher in Wilkes County NC wrote about. He had tucked away the summer after his first year of teaching. After the first time he had seen it since he heard the poet read it at a summer seminar years ago. Even with only one year of teaching behind him, Jim was struck by the poem's truth and insight. I appreciate it all the more as a veteran of the classroom and want to share it with you. It is taken from the book, Vein of Words , by Jim Wayne Miller , a wonderful teacher in his own right.

is running in place
with weights on your feet.

It's an old injury
that never heals and so
I go into each hour still
sore from the last exercise.

Loving the possibilities
of wood slender shapes,
wings, visions of flight
frozen in seasoned stock
dry and durable I work
in a sultry greenhouse air,
sculpting in ice

Shapes that melt in the mind.
I write on water, I sweat
and always come away wet
behind the ears.

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