Poem of the Day: Tula [“Books are door-shaped”]
May 11th, 2017 by

Books are door-shaped
portals
carrying me
across oceans
and centuries,
helping me feel
less alone.
But my mother believes
that girls who read too much
are unladylike
and ugly,
so my father's books are locked
in a clear glass cabinet. I gaze
at enticing covers
and mysterious titles,
but I am rarely permitted
to touch
the enchantment
of words.
Poems.
Stories.
Plays.
All are forbidden.
Girls are not supposed to think,
but as soon as my eager mind
begins to race, free thoughts
rush in
to replace
the trapped ones.
I imagine distant times
and faraway places.
Ghosts.
Vampires.
Ancient warriors.
Fantasy moves into
the tangled maze
of lonely confusion.
Secretly, I open
an invisible book in my mind,
and I step
through its magical door-shape
into a universe
of dangerous villains
and breathtaking heroes.
Many of the heroes are men
and boys, but some are girls
so tall
strong
and clever
that they rescue other children
from monsters.
Margarita Engle, "Tula [”Books are door-shaped”]" from The Lightning Dreamer.  Copyright © 2013 by Margarita Engle.  Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Source: The Lightning Dreamer(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013)

Margarita Engle

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Poem of the Day
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Poem of the Day: Of Modern Books
May 8th, 2017 by

Of making many books there is no end,
   Though myriads have to deep oblivion gone;
Each day new manuscripts are being penned,
   And still the ceaseless tide of ink flows on.
Though myriads have to deep oblivion gone,
   New volumes daily issue from the press;
And still the ceaseless tide of ink flows on—
   The prospect is disheartening, I confess.
New volumes daily issue from the press;
   My pile of unread books I view aghast.
The prospect is disheartening, I confess;
   Why will these modern authors write so fast?
My pile of unread books I view aghast—
   Of course I must keep fairly up to date—
Why will these modern authors write so fast?
   They seem to get ahead of me of late.
Of course I must keep fairly up to date;
   The books of special merit I must read;
They seem to get ahead of me of late,
   Although I skim them very fast indeed.
The books of special merit I must read;
   And then the magazines come round again;
Although I skim them very fast indeed,
   I can’t get through with more than eight or ten.
And then the magazines come round again!
   How can we stem this tide of printer’s ink?
I can’t get through with more than eight or ten—
   It is appalling when I stop to think.
How can we stem this tide of printer’s ink?
   Of making many books there is no end.
It is appalling when I stop to think
   Each day new manuscripts are being penned!

Source: She Wields a Pen: American Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century(University of Iowa Press, 1997)

Carolyn Wells

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Easing the Grief – Important Ways to Remember a Loved One
Mar 13th, 2011 by Aldouspi

Easing the Grief - Important Ways to Remember a Loved One

Some family members may have more trouble than most with the death of a loved one whether it is a pet, a sibling, parent, grandparent or friend. Children especially don't always understand death and are scared that they will forget their deceased love one forever. Whether you have a child having trouble dealing with a death or you might be having trouble yourself, there are ways to commemorate your loved one's life so that they are always held in fond memories and will always be remembered.

There are a number of ways to commemorate the life of your deceased loved one. Indeed, doing something in honor of them can help provide closure as well as provide a balm for grief. Here are a few ideas of what you can do to remember your loved one:

1. Create a scholarship or make a donation to a favorite cause in the name of your dead loved one. By doing one of these things, others will remember your loved one as well.
2. Donate some books to your local library with stickers inside that say "Donated to the library in memory of" and then list your loved one's name. Every time someone opens the book, they will see your sticker commemorating the memory of your loved one.
3. Plant a tree in your own backyard in memory of your loved one. Every time you look outside, you will see it and think of them. A variation of this would be to donate a tree or trees to your church's courtyard, a local park or even a school. A plaque could be installed at the tree saying that it was planted in memory of your loved one.
4. Create a memory box placing items that were dear to your departed loved one. Place items that hold fond memories so your revisits to the box are always pleasant. A memory box is a great project for a child to create as it channels their grief and sadness into something constructive.
5. Taking the idea of the memory box, create a scrapbook instead and have family members and other loved ones contribute to it. Make it a joint effort and let everyone close to the deceased to contribute.
6. If there was a special place or a trip your departed loved one was planning but never got to go on, take that trip in honor of them. Take pictures and record your thoughts and experiences in a journal so that you can revisit them from time to time.
7. Get the children involved in creating special ornaments in honor of your deceased loved one. That way, every year at Christmas time they will be able to reflect on their loved for them and always remember.
8. Donate your time and volunteer in organizations that were important to your loved one. It is a wonderful way to not only give back to the community but to also honor their memories as well.
9. Hold a special dinner or party in memory of your departed loved one and have everyone share a special fond memory of them. You just may learn something new about them as well!

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