American Life in Poetry: Column 093 


Newborns begin life as natural poets,
loving the sound of their own gurgles
and coos.
And, with the encouragement
of parents and teachers,
children can
continue to write and enjoy poetry into
their high school years and beyond. A group of
elementary students in Detroit,
Michigan, wrote poetry
on the subject
of what seashells might say if they could
speak to us. I was especially
charmed by Tatiana Ziglar's
short poem,
which alludes to the way in which poets
learn to be attentive to the world.
The inhabitants of the
Poetry Palace
pay attention, and by that earn the stories
they receive.

Common Janthina

My shell said she likes the king and queen
of the Poetry Palace because they listen to her.
She tells them all the secrets of the ocean.

Reprinted by permission from "Shimmering Stars,"
Vol. IV, Spring, 2006, published by the InsideOut
Literary Arts Project. Copyright (c)2006
by the
InsideOut Literary Arts Project.
This weekly column
is supported by The Poetry
Foundation, The Library
of Congress, and the
Department of English at the
University of Nebraska-
Lincoln. This column does not
accept unsolicited poetry.