Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Best Gift

Dear Mary,

When I walk out at morning, I see my Kentucky landscape with eyes you helped open.  Thanks to you for showing me how to find sand dabs and for teaching the power of incident.  

When I read your poems to my students, my students destined to become middle school teachers, I tell them I am giving them the best gift.  

“I am giving you Mary Oliver!”  I say and I smile.   They smile too. 

“Here’s a poem,” I might say, “to help your students think about how to ask questions.”  Or “here’s a poem about lilies, but what does it say to your teacherly heart?”

Thanks to you I am a better teacher, a more intimate one.  Many teachers pass your words on to their students.  We all know that your poems are the best gift.

When I sit down to write, to make life decisions, or even to talk with my dog, my words come closer to mattering because of the many ways your words-- both prose and poem-- have helped me to know my own life better.

I send you my gratitude, love, and best wishes,

Susan Nelson Wood

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