I'm in the throes of grading season. I mean, sure, it's always grading season in my world, but it's a particularly intense time right now, with projects from my seventh graders and a big writing deadline coming up tomorrow for my eighth graders. I've been planning a Birthday Gifts Edition of Poetry Friday, but I can't take the time or the mental bandwidth right now to work on it. Maybe next week. Meanwhile, here's a little foretaste, an excerpt from "The Light I Collect," a poem in Aimee Nezhukumatathil's book Lucky Fish. I bought this book with birthday money and I will review it in my Birthday Gifts Edition.
If a man in China can keep ten thousand dollars' worth
of caterpillars in a metal box underneath his bed
for medicine, then I want to collect flakes of light
for those winter months where we go a whole week
without seeing a slice of sun. The light I want to collect
is free. Can't be sold as a cure for muscle ache
or to ward off evil eye. I write this in August. It should be
illegal to talk about snow in Western New York now.
from "The Light I Collect," by Aimee Nezhukumatathil
I know that many of my readers are in the throes of another kind of depressing season, the one mentioned in the poem: winter. I wish I could send you some "flakes of light," some "slices of sun" from my part of the world, where this is the most beautiful time of the year. Just as I'm trying to cling to my knowledge that I have students who are doing great work, resisting my instinct to focus all my attention on the ones who aren't, as though nobody is.
Let's collect the light and store it up for the dark times!
This week's roundup is here.
3 hours ago