Sunday, April 19, 2009

Poetry Break: Serious

When looking at poetry it is important to connect to the written words and have them move you. This poem is about the hardships of growing up and coming to terms with all of the labels other have found to describe what is wrong about you. We all go about giving out these labels everyday. They create doubt in others or ourselves when we hear them.
It is important to remain strong in order to stay true to your own uniqueness while growing and going through life.
I found this poem in an edited book of stories and poems by Sandy Asher called, On Her Way Stores and Poems About Growing Up Girl.

By Donna Jo Napoli

I’ve always known I was a girl,
It doesn’t matter that they call me
for climbing trees
catching lizards
making bows and arrows from palm fronds on empty lots.
It doesn’t matter that they warn me
only boys
like math
build birdhouses
argue about the infallibility of the pope with the grown
men who play poker with my father.
It doesn’t matter because I’ve always known.

But I look in the mirror now
And I see something they will recognize, sooner or later:
my outside changes.
It’s not a metamorphosis
not like a tadpole becoming a frog
but its not just getting bigger, either,
not just a teeny turtle turning into a big one.
I’m a little woman, a girl grown, or growing.

They will see, they will know. They will finally accept
I’m a girl, no matter.

As for me, I’ve always known.
My body may be lumpy and clumsy
but my head
oh, my head is full of grace.
It always has been.
It always will be.

This poem opens up great ideas for discussion, sharing and hopefully accepting differences in cultures and lifestyles.

What is stereotyping?

How difficult is it over coming stereotype?

Are there still some things, for example jobs, that only certain people or sexes should do?

What are some stereotypes that you feel are just silly?
Asher, Sandy. 2004. Napoli, Donna Jo. "Twelve" p. 85. On Her Way: Stories and Poems About Growing Up Girl. New York: Dutton Children's Books.

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