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You Shall Above All Things

When I teach poetry, I always include ee cummings. I include him for several reasons. First, he was a pretty good poet. Second. junior high students worry too much about style and conventions. Third, he was a rebel and junior high students like rebels. Fourth, and I doubt it is last, he had something important to say like all good rebels.

I am not sure our schedule. We leave within the hour and will be on the road most of tomorrow. If I do not find my way back to the Internet, I wish you all a good New Year.

you shall above all things be glad and young.

For if you`re young, whatever life you wear

it will become you;and if you are glad

whatever`s living will yourself become.

Girlboys may nothing more than boygirls need;

i can entirely her only love

whose any mystery makes every man`s

flesh put space;and his mind take off time

that you should every think, may god forbid

and(in his mercy)your true lover spare:

for that way knowledge lies,the foetal grave

called progress,and negation`s dead undoom.

I’d rather learn from one bird how to sing

then teach ten thousand stars how not to dance.

About ivonprefontaine

I completed a PhD at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Previously, I taught for 20 years and taught for 15 years in a wonderful hybrid school. My dissertation topic and research were how certain teachers experience becoming who teachers. In teaching and leanring, I am a boundary-crosser who understands moving ahead is a leap of faith. Teaching is a calling and vocation to express who I am as a person. Currently, I am waiting and listening to what calls me next. I am an educator, phenomenologist, scholar, boundary-crosser, published poet, author, parent, grandparent, and spouse.

21 responses »

  1. Amazing coincidence, I just read this poem today.

  2. ee cummings was a poet I had to study when I was taught at school.

  3. I’d rather learn from one bird how to sing

    then teach ten thousand stars how not to dance.
    a powerful statement… have a safe blessed trip enjoy the new year, see you when you return!!

  4. See you in 2013! Peace, Love and Joy!

  5. Wonderful poem. Happy New Year to you also!

  6. Beautiful Poem.
    Lets welcome the year which is Fresh and New,
    Lets Cherish each moment it beholds,
    Lets celebrate this Blissful Year 2013…..
    Wishing you a
    Happy New Year
    And a Great Year ahead !!

  7. Best wishes for a happy new year.

  8. I’m letting followers of my blog know that “Will Work for Food (and maybe dental)” is now “A Way With Words”. It can be found at the same URL. For the story of what inspired the name change, see –

  9. “I’d rather learn from one bird…” And here I find myselt posting poems on my site, read by many, and turning around – visiting – and learning from many more, like a thousand stars in my firmament … Something quite wonderful in it all … Lovely post, Ivan.

  10. I especially love the last two lines:

    “I’d rather learn from one bird how to sing

    then teach ten thousand stars how not to dance.”

    Thank you for sharing this poem, Ivon.



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