Thursday, August 22, 2013

New Year-New Reading

            Poetry Friday is hosted today by Betsy at her wonderful new poetry site, I Think In Poems.  Thanks to Betsy, we'll be sharing our thoughts today, one of the last days before our students arrive.  


Flickr Creative Commons photo by Frank Douwes on Wikimedia Commons


            Back in April for Poetry Month, Mary Lee Hahn at A Year of Reading began sharing photos from Wikimedia Commons, offering some lessons in respecting artists' property rights and property infringement, along with writing poems each day in response to the photo or other media.  I was hooked by the photos and sounds she shared, and with Mary Lee as a terrific mentor, I found I could write "something" most of the time and share in the comments.  There are a few poems I kept, but the images seem to have faded away, except for this one.  

             Here at the beginning of school as we talk about our reading goals and plans for students, and I observe the boxes of new books in the library, and many more in classrooms, I remember this photo, wondering how many children around the world wait for a book, and consider that a book, any book, is a treasure.  I think I will share this with students, and we will wonder together about this child in Tanzania reading a book! A former student has started a school in Kenya for girls, and has told me that many of the youngest students' "work" was combing the trash dumps for anything to sell at market. Perhaps we will explore ways to help others obtain books to love?



Here is what I wrote in April:

Gold-digging


It’s market day.
I needed to find
a treasure to sell,
a piece of metal,
a toy to mend.
Instead I found
my own kind of gold,
and sat down
right then
to look.
                                                                   Linda Baie ©All Rights Reserved

35 comments:

  1. Little treasures. What a beautiful poem, Linda. If I were to reflect on what is golden to me, it would be a book too, I feel. I know what you mean about children hungry for books, it's a reality in so many remote and disadvantaged provinces in the Philippines too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Myra. When I took my students to Costa Rica, we stayed at a school there, and took books and supplies. There is so much need, here in the US too.

      Delete
  2. I love your little poem and how well it fits with the image. What a great idea...to get books into hands of those who don't have access. Let me know how this goes. I'd like to get my gifted students involved.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When I was in the classroom, we gathered book donations for a local organization. Now I need to see what's possible for a school-wide (and on-going) collection. Thanks, Margaret!

      Delete
  3. This poem cuts right to the heart, Linda. I saw a documentary of children who live in the dump (I believe it was Mexico City). It's heartbreaking to think that we can look at a book any time we want, choose from hundreds, thousands, while underprivileged children are dying for just a peek.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it is sad to think of our choices alongside others who really have none. Thank you BJ!

      Delete
  4. Right now, I have three bags of books in my car to donate. I just haven't had a chance to take them to my local Friends of the Library bookstore. I had more books earlier in the summer and took them to Goodwill, where the helper started dumping them onto an already full dumpster of books, and I couldn't stand it. I can't give them any more books, seeing how they treated them. :-(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have a nephew who works for Goodwill. I will ask him about the policy. I sometimes go to see their offering, but I donate to local places. Thanks for telling me, Tabatha.

      Delete
    2. I have no idea how any other Goodwills treat their books, just ours. I hope that it varies! I don't know if any other hospitals want them, but we have also given children's books to a local hospital's ER. They request them so the kids have something to look at while they are waiting.

      Delete
    3. That's a great idea, too, Tabatha. We have a wonderful children's Hospital here and I imagine they even have some sort of library for those who are there, or who visit. Thanks!

      Delete
    4. Goodwill is selling a lot of books through Amazon's used book program, but the couple I've gotten have been pretty beaten up . . . now I suspect I know why! ;-)

      Delete
  5. What a beautiful poem to go with the photo, Linda. Very touching. And it does remind us how much we take books for granted. I donate whenever I can to local organizations. Tabatha's Goodwill experience is a little disheartening, though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jama. We have one women's day shelter where we might find a good place for our donations.

      Delete
  6. What an amazing combination. I can't wait to hear what your students might say about this. We so take for granted what we have.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jone. I'll be sure to post whether I can get something started.

      Delete
  7. I love that you don't say what it is but we all know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Liz, I haven't thought of it that way, but you're right, it doesn't say what the treasure is. As I remember, I also wondered if the child could read, hence the use of the word 'look'.

      Delete
  8. Your poem brings the photo to life--very nice!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Buffy! It has stayed in my mind all this time, and I imagine will continue.

      Delete
  9. Hi, Linda. Your post reminded me that my friend is collecting books to take to Honduras, where she and her family do a service trip each winter. I'll have to post the information one Friday! Thanks for the nudge.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wish I was closer! I am going to take the books I gathered today to the day shelter. The women have all ages of children and might like the choices of a large bag of books, or I don't know if they have a library. Thanks Laura!

      Delete
  10. Lovely! I wondered if the photo was from Haiti when I first saw it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The site says Tanzania, Ruth. Do you think they're incorrect? Thanks!

      Delete
  11. I love the urgency of finding something to sell followed by taking the time to read. Wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Keri, and for the added info about Goodwill. I need to check it out with my nephew!

      Delete
  12. I love seeing this poem again! You brought it back out at just the right time!

    April got a little crazy, but our little group did have such fun writing and sharing every day! Good memories!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was fun, and it's true that this particular has been on my mind since! When we began to get ready for school, as I said above, I kept thinking of all those who would "treasure" just a few of our books. Thanks Mary Lee. Hope your starting week has been fabulous!

      Delete
  13. This was beautiful. Saying so much without saying it all. Lovely Linda. Perfect photo.

    ReplyDelete
  14. The child, the book in his hands, and your poem are all treasures, Linda. Lovely! =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Bridget, important to me for sure!

      Delete
  15. This is just lovely. "My own golden treasure..." So beautiful and heart-wrenching at the same time. Thank you for sharing this, Linda.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Liana. Thanks for coming by.

      Delete
  16. Linda, thanks for posting, or I guess reposting this... I think I must have missed this one last April. You're right, there's something about that photo that just latches on to my heart. I don't think I will forget it either. Your poem is the perfect companion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Michelle. I'm happy you enjoyed seeing the photo & the poem!

      Delete

Having a conversation is a good thing!