Recently, I’ve talked about how Fridays are going to be poetry day in my classroom this semester, and readers have suggested that Friday Poetry Blogging could be yet another Friday meme for this blogging community. (We just love Friday memes, don't we?) Mona has many times posted original poetry on Friday, Bitty has already jumped in with a Ray Carver poem, Sarah Sometimes says she thinks it’s a good idea, DaniGirl says she can be persuaded to play along, and Arete recently posted a poem by one of my favorite poets, Joy Harjo.
The idea is to post a poem you like -- or a poem you've written.
Today I am posting the poem I use on the first day of class. We read this poem and talk about what the poem says about community – and then talk about what kind of community we want in the classroom. Joy Harjo talks about the kind of community that forms around the kitchen table – I wonder sometimes what kind of community we are forming as we pull up to our computers and meet in cyberspace.
PERHAPS THE WORLD ENDS HERE
The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter what, we must eat to live.
The gifts of earth are brought and prepared, set on the table. So it has been since creation, and it will go on.
We chase chickens or dogs away from it. Babies teeth at the corners. They scrape their knees under it.
It is here that children are given instructions on what it means to be human. We make men at it, we make women.
At this table we gossip, recall enemies and the ghosts of lovers.
Our dreams drink coffee with us as they put their arms around our children. They laugh with us at our poor falling-down selves and as we put ourselves back together once again at the table.
This table has been a house in the rain, an umbrella in the sun.
Wars have begun and ended at this table. It is a place to hide in the shadow of terror. A place to celebrate the terrible victory.
We have given birth on this table, and have prepared our parents for burial here.
At this table we sing with joy, with sorrow. We pray of suffering and remorse. We give thanks.
Perhaps the world will end here at the kitchen table, while we are laughing and crying, eating of the last sweet bite.
from The Woman Who Fell From The Sky
by Joy Harjo