Friday, August 07, 2009

Teaching Poetry

Lit Instructor
by William Stafford (pictured, right)

Day after day up there beating my wings
with all the softness truth requires
I feel them shrug whenever I pause:
they class my voice among tentative things,

And they credit fact, force, battering.
I dance my way toward the family of knowing,
embracing stray error as a long-lost boy
and bringing him home with my fluttering.

Every quick feather asserts a just claim;
it bites like a saw into white pine.
I communicate right; but explain to the dean—
well, Right has a long and intricate name.

And the saying of it is a lonely thing.



from http://www.newsfromnowhere.com/stafford/stafford00.html accessed 7 August 209


++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


"I've always believed in the Keirkegaardian notion that education, real education, begins when the teacher learns from the students, when there's a reciprocity." ~Theodore Roethke (pictured, right)





++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


Recommended Reading:

In this updated version of her landmark book Learning to Listen, Learning to

Teach , celebrated adult educator Jane Vella (pictured, right) revisits her twelve principles of dialogue education with a new theoretical perspective gleaned from the discipline of quantum physics. Vella sees the path to learning as a holistic, integrated, spiritual, and energetic process. She uses engaging, personal stories of her work in a variety of adult learning settings, in different countries and with different educational purposes, to show readers how to utilize the twelve principles in their own practice with any type of adult learner, anywhere.

On Teaching and Learning takes the ideas explored in renowned educator Jane Vella’s best-selling book Learning to Listen, Learning to Teach to the next level and explores how dialogue education has been applied in educational settings around the world. Throughout the book, she shows how to put the principles and practices of dialogue education into action and uses illustrative stories and examples from her extensive travels. Dialogue education values inquiry, integrity, and commitment to equity—values that are also central to democracy. Learners are treated as beings worthy of respect, recognized for the knowledge and experience they bring to the learning experience. Dialogue education emphasizes the importance of safety and belonging. It is an approach that welcomes one’s certainties and one’s questions.


++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

When a person encounters another person in total immediacy, he or she may also experience a glimpse of God. ~Martin Buber (pictured, right)


++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


September 1, 1939

by W.H. Auden (pictured, right)


I sit in one of the dives

On Fifty-second Street

Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death
Offends the September night.

Accurate scholarship can
Unearth the whole offence
From Luther until now
That has driven a culture mad,
Find what occurred at Linz,
What huge imago made
A psychopathic god:
I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return.

Exiled Thucydides knew
All that a speech can say
About Democracy,
And what dictators do,
The elderly rubbish they talk
To an apathetic grave;
Analysed all in his book,
The enlightenment driven away,
The habit-forming pain,
Mismanagement and grief:
We must suffer them all again.

Into this neutral air
Where blind skyscrapers use
Their full height to proclaim
The strength of Collective Man,
Each language pours its vain
Competitive excuse:
But who can live for long
In an euphoric dream;
Out of the mirror they stare,
Imperialism’s face
And the international wrong.

Faces along the bar
Cling to their average day:
The lights must never go out,
The music must always play,
All the conventions conspire
To make this fort assume
The furniture of home;
Lest we should see where we are,
Lost in a haunted wood,
Children afraid of the night
Who have never been happy or good.

The windiest militant trash
Important Persons shout
Is not so crude as our wish:
What mad Nijinsky wrote
About Diaghilev
Is true of the normal heart;
For the error bred in the bone
Of each woman and each man
Craves what it cannot have,
Not universal love
But to be loved alone.

From the conservative dark
Into the ethical life
The dense commuters come,
Repeating their morning vow;
“I will be true to the wife,
I’ll concentrate more on my work,”
And helpless governors wake
To resume their compulsory game:
Who can release them now,
Who can reach the deaf,
Who can speak for the dumb?

All I have is a voice
To undo the folded lie,
The romantic lie in the brain
Of the sensual man-in-the-street
And the lie of Authority
Whose buildings grope the sky:
There is no such thing as the State
And no one exists alone;
Hunger allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love one another or die.

Defenceless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.

– W. H. Auden

from http://poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15545 accessed 7 August 2009



Only you can improve the audience for poetry.


No comments: