This past early Spring brought Jacelyn to a poetry workshop formed around Walt Whitman’s work Song of Myself.
I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.
The smoke of my own breath,
Echoes, ripples, buzz’d whispers, love-root, silk-thread, crotch and vine,
What Am I?
I am green with birth.
I stretch out my millions of arms toward the sky.
I watch as my family is taken away by men in plaid.
Soon I am almost as tall as the others, my arms only a few feet away from the sky,
but still my brothers are disappearing.
I am now taller than the tallest,
watching the cars go by and the bridges being built.
A bird finds refuge on my arms and soon,
a wood home is built.
I am as clever as the owl.
I have seen everything,
but I go limp with mortality and my arms droop toward the ground.
The baby birds fly off leaving me cold and alone.
With a single crack I fall to the bare ground.
The other ones watch mournfully,
doing nothing to help.
Finally green moss covers my body like a blanket
and Mother nature whispers,
“Time to sleep.”
This is a simply wonderful program that offers free workshops to children in the Iowa City area. Jacelyn was thrilled to take part and collaborate with the other poets and workshop leaders. Unfortunately without a large lottery win I won’t be able to get her to anymore. I am very happy that she has this book to commemorate her time there, and I really hope the validation and encouragement she received from a group of her peers will stay with her through the rest of her life.
I hope she keeps it somewhere warm, so we can nurture it and help it grow, so that one day she realizes that the most important validation is the validation that comes from yourself.