Today is Valentines Day—and with Valentines Day I always think of poems and the silly poems we would write in our homemade valentines. My mother, carrying on the tradition of her father, wrote wonderful, usually silly poems, in honor of the big and small occasions in our lives. Other families also have poetry traditions. Carolina Kennedy was here in Seattle a couple of weeks ago, and spoke on the role that poetry has played in the traditions of her family. (Write up in the Seattle Times) Caroline has been creating collections of poetry, at first based on the poetic tradition of their family – and the poems that her mother loved, and then creating collections based on her own poetry traditions with her children.
Caroline has a great passion for poetry and for libraries. Listening to her speak reawakened my own interest in poetry. For her, poetry is a way to relate to people and to relate to life. Caroline was inspired by her own mother’s emphasis on poetry when she was young, and Jacqueline’s request for her children to share a selected poem with her for her birthday. I came home and personally bought several of Caroline’s poetry compilations. They are delightful; including not just poems but also some of Caroline’s reflection on her own life and on her extended family. These books will also be available at the Overlake library. Her newest book, Poems to Learn by Heart, will be out in March.
Today, in honor of Valentine’s Day we have set up a table with all sorts of craft goodies for students to create old fashioned Valentines. Dare I hope that some of these might also include a poem?
What I have read recently: I just finished Left Neglected by Lisa Genova. It was fascinating look at tramautic brain injury seen through the perspective of the patient. Lisa Genova, with a PhD. in Neuroscience from Harvard, weaves in her scientific expertise in her fictionalized books that deal with different neurological conditions, like Alzheimer’s and traumatic brain injuries. Her other works include Still Alice and Loving Anthony. Highly recommended.