"I am hearing poetry when awake, dreaming poetry when asleep, breathing poetry with each breath, I am living in a poem."

Monday, January 7, 2013

Unopened Book

Photograph: Zitona

She taught from
an unopened book.
There was no need
to study words
that could not feel.

Her lessons were
expressions of life
memorized by experience.

I looked at her marbled skin
and wondered if I would
pass the test written in years.

©Susie Clevenger 2013
Real Toads Open Link Monday

I took Mark Windham's advice
and rewrote it in the present tense.
I thank him for his input. :)

Unopened Book  2

She teaches from
an unopened book.
There is no need
to study words
that cannot feel.

Her lessons are
expressions of life
memorized by experience.

I look at her marbled skin
and wonder if I will
pass the test written in years.

©Susie Clevenger 2013


Kerry O'Connor said...

As a teacher myself, I love this poem. It speaks straight to my heart, because I really try to teach more than can be found in books.

sreeja harikrishnan said...

It tells so much... very beautiful! Great thoughts!

Emma Major said...

teaching emotionally is such a rarely shared yet important skill, thanks for the reminder

aprille said...

What I have understood of you so far: no doubt you will pass that test. Lovely and refreshing MM [Monday morning] poem.
BTW, I know it isn't your own image, but it really spoke to me: A single pelargonium floret is about all my horticulture has to offer on this bleak midwinter day. The plant is so faithful and keeps on giving when there is nothing else. The same colour. I shall now pay mine homage and take some pictures of it.
Small mercies.

Abin Chakraborty said...

I guess books are more valuable as points of new explorations than things to fence your wisdom.very well put.

my heart's love songs said...

this is so lovely! all of the best teachers i had taught much more from the heart than books.

Mary said...

Susie, this poem really resonates with me. There are people like this...who teach life lessons through examples. I think grandparents have this kind of opportunity, but I can think of others in my life who do this now! This is one of my favorite poems of yours.

Susan said...

Me too, Kerry. And this is also beautifully structured, Susie, pared down to the admiration we feel for those who age well--having lived--and our hope to be so full of Grace and Love.

Laurie Kolp said...

This is very thought-provoking, Susie, especially..."no need to study words that could not feel" & "marbled face"... I think we all have unwritten tests to pass.

Susie Swanson said...

Very beautiful and informative poem.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Beautifully written, Susie. I can see her wisdom and experience, "no need to study words that cant feel." A poem that stays with one, after reading it.

Mama Zen said...

Another (former) teacher loving this one!

awakenedwords said...

Very good Suzie, I really like this one. One of my 'guru's always reminds me to look at tense. Have you looked at trying this one in present tense? Either way it is good, just a thought. :)

Grace said...

Sometimes the wisdom gained from experience is more valuable than the words in the textbooks ~ Good one Susie ~

marousia said...

Love this - tacit knowledge is the hardest to teach :)

Karen said...

As a teacher, too, I hope the lessons I teach are more than words, more than books can tell. I love the marbled skin (she says, examining the newly sprung spots upon her hands). :-)

Karen said...

I like it both ways, by the way, past and present, but the past tense gives a different feel. I think I prefer the introspection of the past.

Ellecee said...

Your poem reminds me of people in my life who have taught me in this way. Special people. I like both versions of this poem but prefer the present tense. Feeling in the present so to speak :-)

Mystic_Mom said...

Love both poems, each has a slightly different feel. Can't pick a favorite as one seems like a grandmother (then) and her granddaughter (now). Well done!

vivinfrance said...

Susie, you've summed up my feelings about teaching and the importance of making it real. The present tense version makes it all the more immediate and compelling.

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