I gave my students a test last week…which meant that the first book we read as a literature class is now over…which means I need to know what comes next.
Until last night.
And now, egad, I am thrilled.
We’re doing poetry…long poetry. Story-telling poetry. Salty-sweet-tang-for-the-tongue-deeply-musical-visual poetry. Interestingly enough, the idea for this came while listening to Krista Tippet’s On Being interview with Keith Devlin about mathematical thinking and sonnets, and the interpretation of patterns. Fascinating stuff… that led me to think about how this math, these patterns–which can be interpreted in color, forces (magnetic, kinetic, etc) language, numbers, sound…are so essential to being-ness. These harmonies are holding me together, grounding me and at the same time, allowing me to experience their mystical essence.
I am not able to explain exactly why I come close to weeping when I read the perfection of Shakespeare’s sonnets or why this morning I found myself alone in my room proclaiming aloud, afoot, and with certain passion Wordsworth’s Tintern Abbey . I can’t explain it…except to say that what I hear when the syllables come together to make word and image has me Become a bit more. It has me ache and YES and AH…and even more than that, it inspires in me a desire to take up the tools and create something that sings of me…of my experience…to become a part of the conversation…conversation, relationship, that is at the humming warm center of covenant…
Matisse is an artist that inspires this same feeling in me. When I see what he did with color and pattern, I can hardly contain myself… His are paintings I hear just as some poems are music and some music is a frame for walking through into living art.
I am not sure how I am going to explain this to my students…who are eleven. But, I will try.