I met a girl in a book—
a sister to me, my heart
sang to be so understood.
I met a girl in a book—
a stranger to me, my heart
sang to hear her melody.
Sister, stranger, girl, or boy—
in my heart their printed souls
find a voice and turn to song.
Last week I shared a septercet I wrote in response to Jane Yolen’s September challenge at Michelle Barnes’ Today’s Little Ditty. Like potato chips, septercets can be addictive, and I found I couldn’t stop at just one.
I’m sure the theme will be a familiar one to many of you. Readers need to be able to see themselves in what they read; they also need opportunities to read about other people’s experiences. For both reasons we all need more diverse books. The We Need Diverse Books movement and organization has brought new attention to this chronic deficiency.
If you haven’t already seen Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TED talk The Danger of a Single Story and Grace Lin’s TEDx talk The Windows and Mirrors of Your Child’s Bookshelf, you must. Both writers speak powerfully of their experiences with limited access to mirrors and with people who have had limited access to windows.
I’m at Poetry Camp at WWU this weekend! I couldn’t be more excited to see old friends, meet people I’ve only known on line or on paper, and take a good long time to celebrate poetry and children. I hope to share about that next Friday.
In the meantime, Happy Poetry Friday! Karen Edmisten has the round-up.
© Elizabeth Steinglass 2016
Beautiful, Liz! Yes to diverse books, yes to your poem and photo, and another yes just because you’re awesome! Can you add it to the padlet? Or if you’re too busy, may I do it for you?
I’ve been up for hours, waiting for all these west coast people to start the day, so I can add it to the padlet. : )
I love this and have already posted it in the MS library – thank you!
Yay! I’m so glad!
I LOVE that poem – and how we can “sing” as readers to any number of tunes. Lovely.
I know what you mean about the septercet form being addictive. It is a challenge but yours rings like a true narrative. I especially liked the last stanza with “in my heart their printed souls/find a voice and turn to song.”
You captured so much with your words, Liz! Love it!
Yes, the books, picture and chapter, have shown us varied characters and stories, all as it should be. You’ve written this second septercet that feels like it is a punctuation to all the others about books and writing, Liz. Poetry Camp sounds awesome! Have a wonderful time!
You’re right – us readers can relate so well to the benefits of reading – like meeting friends who understand us (St. 1). I too am looking forward to Poetry Camp tomorrow!
I love your poem, Liz. It’s terrific. Have a wonderful weekend with your poetic friends.
You are, quite literally, singing to the choir! I read to find myself…..but more to connect with others who I long to know. A lovely way to celebrate reading and to support a noble cause. Enjoy every moment of poetry camp! I’m counting on you to share hi-lights when you return!
Yes! To diverse books, diverse characters, diverse writers and diverse readers! We are all like snowflakes, each of us unique.