Tag Archives: imagination

Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me by Kate Clanchy

When I finished reading this book, I let out a cry of exultation. For whilst this is an account of the author’s thirty year journey teaching in the UK, bursting with anecdotes – with all the rich tapestry of emotions that humanity yields – it is ultimately a revelatory celebration of all that is good and life-enhancing when teachers with the requisite skill, passion and flair for their subject are able to teach, and how they can have such a positive impact on their charges.

“Some Kids I Taught…” is written with a poet’s telling eye for observation and comparison. Kate Clanchy is a wonderful writer and what becomes apparent is that she is an equally wonderful teacher, with a gift for self-deprecation, as well as being able to see things that others perhaps don’t. There is a refreshing honesty and wit embedded in her insights. You feel that despite the politics in education and the various battlegrounds that have ensued as to how best deliver state education, the author firmly believes in the enabling and civilising influence that such education can provide when it is well-managed, well thought out, well-funded and teachers are provided the freedom to practise what they love doing, without short-sighted political interference.

Anyone who reads this will acquire a sharper and more enlightened understanding into the various challenges that teachers currently face in the UK and why it is a profession that gives anyone who has ever been a part of it, plenty of “wow” moments. Not only should every person involved in education read this, but every politician too – they may learn a thing or two and consider how best to create a 21st century state educational system in which students are best able to demonstrate their creative skills and flourish.

In the despairing world that is Brexit and Trump, where division has reared its head with purulent intent, it is uplifting to read a book that praises multiculturalism and diversity as beautiful ideals to embrace. In one scene, Clanchy describes looking around her classroom thus:

“I look around the room. It contains Muslims from five countries,
one Hindu, a Filipino fundamentalist, one transgender kid,
two mixed race girls of no faith, two white kids, a Pole,
and the rule range of human skin colour. Fabulous.”

Isn’t this what education, life, and this beautiful world of ours are all about?

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Give and Take

Let’s dance

and not leave

anything

to chance.

Let’s partake

and savour

the beauty

we create.

Let’s praise

the sacred

and the secular

gaze.

Let’s eye

one another

and never say

goodbye.

Let’s spread

a kind of magic

when we lay

our weary heads.

Let’s write

with our tongues

and welcome

lovers’ light.

Let’s feel

as we blend

on the path

that stars reveal.

Let’s vow

to wonder

by living

in the now.

Let’s give

and take,

the chord proclaims:

LIVE.

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Filed under Love, Nature, Philosophy, Poetry, Thoughts, Travel

We Have To Live

We have to live

In this darkened world.

We have to live

In this lightened world.

Despite the horror and the lies

The torture and the murder

We have to live

In this darkened world.

Despite the hatred and the bile

The evil and the rage

We have to live

In this lightened world.

Despite the angst and the vengeance

The fury and the bloodlust

We have to live

In this darkened world.

Despite the hubris and the bluster

The othering and the smothering

We have to live

In this lightened world.

Despite the bigotry and the vitriol

The crowing and the ignorance

We have to live

In this darkened world.

Despite the gore and the slaughter

The rottenness and the stench

We have to live

In this lightened world.

Despite the vileness and the vanity

The twisting and the spinning

We have to live

In this darkened world.

We have to love

We have to listen

We have to give

We have to live

We have to dream

Unknot our troubles

Spill hot tears

Dispel cold fears.

We have to see

We have to hear

We have to touch

We have to taste

We have to feel

Discover the flow

Unroll our hands

Make love below.

We have to live

Nourish the beauty

Cradle the surprise

Travel through sex

We have to reach

And be together

And see the light

In this wounded world.

We have to live

We have to live

We have to live

In this lightened world.

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Time

There’s always time.
Time for togetherness.
Time for affection.
Time for living.
Time for exploration.
Time for sharing.
Time for happiness.
Time for being.
Time for wondering.
Time for loving.
Time for leaping.
Time for giving.
Time for receiving.
All this, and more, 
Before the sun sets.

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We Have To Live

We have to live
In this darkened world.
Despite the horror and the lies
The torture and the murder
We have to live
In this darkened world.
Despite the hatred and the bile
The evil and the rage
We have to live
In this darkened world.
Despite the fear and the vengeance
The fury and the bloodlust
We have to live
In this darkened world.
Despite the hubris and the bluster
The othering and the smothering
We have to live
In this darkened world.
We have to live
And be together
And see the light
In this wondrous world.

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Filed under Philosophy, Poetry, Thoughts

What is Poetry?

Poetry is a kind

Of magic

That flenses

Flabbiness from

The body

And steams

Ennui

Out of the soul.

 

Over tea, I jotted down some notes on what poetry means to me. I wouldn’t say that these are meant to constitute some kind of manifesto or should be seen as a commentary to the poem above or other musings on this blog. Poetry is much too dynamic to be reduced to this or that. Poetry, I guess, is whatever you make it out to be.

 

Notes on Poetry

Poems are windows on the world.

Poems are thoughts given animation.

Poems are the body’s desires enshrined.

Poems are bubbles of buoyancy.

Poems are lifebelts giving protection on the overflowing avenues of life.

Poems are boots helping us up the mountain.

Poems are slides, plumbing the depths of the imagination.

Poems are intoxicating.

Poems are memories.

Poems are eternal.

Poems are of the moment.

Poems dance when the mind is alive.

Poems are for everyone.

Poems don’t grow old.

Poems are sustenance for the soul.

Poems are longings consecrated on the mind’s altar.

Poems are the heart’s yearnings unfurled.

Poetry is music.

Poetry is water.

 

 

 

 

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Madness

Am I mad to imagine

That one day

Peace will fall?

 

Am I mad to wish

That one day

Contentment will reign?

 

Am I mad to hope

That one day

The mind won’t fret?

 

Am I mad to dream

That one day

Fears shall fly?

 

Am I mad to laugh

At the weirdness

Of it all?

 

Am I mad to love

With tireless

Desire?

 

Am I mad?

Alive I am.

 

 

 

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