Where Words Lead Us

Have You Prayed?

I had to post this poem by Li-Young Lee, words I retrieved from The Poetry Foundation website.  It is a moment in one poet’s life that moves me, deeply.

Quite surprisingly, only moments after listening to this recitation and  just before heading to bed, I received both chills and tears, as a result of a letter passed to me via facebook…something written by a former student.  And it is simply so exquisite that it got me thinking immediately about how words hold such huge power and equally as much, poetry compells in us, a response of memory.  With very few words, we can be transported to a place and time.  It’s quite astounding.

I don’t think she’d mind me sharing this letter.

Ms. Moors,

I came across the poem ‘Carry You In My Heart’ by E.E. Cummings this summer Monday evening and had a vague recollection that I had certainly read this beautiful passage once before, but couldn’t quite remember when or where.

After a few moments of contemplation I realized that it was in Grade 9 that you made each of us attempt a delivery of the poem individually in front of the class! I laugh now at this memory thinking of how miserable our attempts would have been, but have never been more appreciative of the ability to read such a touching piece of literature.

I have such fond memories of our classes together; creating the art displays and your attempt to break my habit of writing in all upper case letters…. Thank you for such wonderful memories. I find that as I go through University with professors who could give two hoots about who you are or where you are going, I appreciate so much more the efforts and dedication teachers like yourselves gave to us students at the time. For this I would like to say thank you. Five years later I find myself having a chuckle once in a while about my time spent at Cardinal Newman and deeply appreciating my Grade 7 and 9 teacher who believed in me so much more than I believed in myself.

I am off to Ethiopia, Africa this Friday to build houses for families in the village of Debre Birhan. I smile at the thought of building our ‘garden’ in the front of the drop off zone, and appreciate now that even the smallest effort can make such a difference in this world.

I hope all is well with you and your children! Have a wonderful summer.

“I carry you in my heart.”

And I will carry you in my heart, dear student of mine.  Be safe.  May your work be a sign for others of God’s love for the world.

I carry your heart with me

by e.e.cummings

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                    i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)