Last week I attended a Douglas County School Board meeting. It was, at times, a tense night.
First up was the fate of the Colorado Visionary Academy charter school. It had been given some 30 days to solve a staggering set of problems. After presentations by various folks, some probing questions from the Board, and a recess to allow the two sides to huddle, it was decided to give the school district another week to digest all of the data presented that day. Then some 80 people or so got up and left.
I first encountered poetry in sixth grade. Mr. Smith, as part of our literature studies, had us focus on the Japanese poetic form of haiku.
In retrospect, that's probably because haiku is so short. The rules are deceptively simple. Good haiku doesn't only follow the overt structure of 3 lines (5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables). It also has a seasonal reference, conveyed by at least two, and often three, sharply focused images.
I didn't get much sleep last night
thinking about underwear
Have you ever stopped to consider
underwear in the abstract
When you really dig into it
some shocking problems are raised
- "Underwear" by Lawrence Ferlinghetti
My first car, a VW bug, cost me $350. Its most holy mission was the time I was sent to the Peoria airport to fetch an important American poet. That poet was Lawrence Ferlinghetti, author of the wonderful poem quoted in part above.
This week happens to be both National Library Week and National Holocaust Awareness Week. At first blush, there wouldn't appear to be much in common between them.
But I have a picture from May 10, 1933. A "brown shirt" (Nazi) is throwing an armful of "un-German" books onto a bonfire. The place: Berlin.
In January of the same year, Adolf Hitler had been named Chancellor of Germany, the most powerful position in the government. The aging President Hindenburg hoped Hitler would lead the nation out of its grave political and economic crisis.