Wednesday, January 08, 2014

So many good words

One of the many great blessings of my new job is working with others who love language and words -- and who love sharing that passion with others.

This week I've discovered two pieces I especially admire.

The first was recommended by Kelli, our hard-working, word-loving librarian.

Phileas's Fortune: A Story About Self-Expression

The story is about an odd world in which words must be purchased. Phileas has no money, so he must forage for words. He saves four special words to spend on a friend, and he receives a special gift in return.


The second is a poem, mined by Jana, who has been invaluable this year in teaching me as much as possible about teaching language arts.

My Grandmother Had One Good Coat

a black wool one with black buttons
shiny as patent leather shoes
and a smooth furry collar
just as black
she wore this only
to the doctor or to church
one late afternoon
I came home from school feeling sorry
for an old woman living beneath the
elevated train below the station
who sat taunting passersby
on their way to work and to school
she sat coatless on a cardboard box
hiding her pain
behind curses and scowls
she could have been
my own grandmother
and the thought of my own
grandmother homeless
in the cold with no place
to pray and be warm
made me sad and depressed
when she asked me what was wrong
and I told her without hesitation
she went into her closet
and handed me her black dress coat
and said here put it in a shopping
bag you’ll find one in the broom closet
I don’t use it that much anyway.
~ Tony Medina

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love the poem and I plan to look up the book. Thanks for passing these on.