Friday, September 3, 2021

A Renaissance of Wonder

"I am waiting ...

I am waiting for my case to come up

and I am waiting

for a rebirth of wonder

and I am waiting for someone

to really discover America

and wail

and I am waiting

for the discovery

of a new symbolic western frontier

and I am waiting

for the American Eagle

to really spread its wings

and straighten up and fly right

and I am waiting

for the Age of Anxiety

to drop dead

and I am waiting

for the war to be fought

which will make the world safe

for anarchy

and I am waiting

for the final withering away

of all governments

and I am perpetually awaiting

a rebirth of wonder

Each fall I begin my classes with this poem from Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Beat poet and owner of the iconic City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco, who passed away last year at the spry age of 101. The poem is meaningful for me in the classroom because of the idea of wonder, and I love the concept of a rebirth of wonder. Our classrooms, and the process of education, should be filled with a sense of wonder and curiosity, and far too often the "grammar of schooling" inhibits and stunts that sense of wonder. I read the poem so my students and I don't forget to wonder.

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