professornana (professornana) wrote,

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When I mentioned I wanted to track down a poem read at the National Book Award celebration, Pam Munoz Ryan was kind enough to send me a link to the piece:

This idea of keeping still, of stopping what we are doing and being still and quiet is one that comes back to me often during this frenetic holiday season. It seems to me that the frenetic time spreads. At first, it was all the holidays entailed, but then it was the beginning of a new semester, a new project, a new resolution. There never seemed to be an end to the movement and noise and haste.

But books give us that pause, don't they? They calm us down, invite us in, move us along in the story. I make it a habit to place a stack of picture books on my desk whenever I am at the office. I take short breaks throughout the day to read as many of them as possible. Just those few moments refresh me from the tasks that demand. They engage my mind in something totally different. They calm me and make me quiet. And they remind me of the enduring power of the word, this time the word on a page--silent but powerful.

And, of course, more than anything this poem reminds me of the bounty available to me as a reader and lover of poetry. It causes me to pause and remember the words of Pablo Neruda and also Pam Munoz Ryan's THE DREAMER, a stunning fictional story of the childhood of Pablo Neruda (
Tags: poetry, quiet
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