Sunday, April 19, 2009

Arnold Adoff - n o justice n o p e a c e

n o  justice   n o p e a c e

o f   course:
t r u e   change   is always   too   slow
and   o u r   b e s t   hopes   rest   with
s t e a d y
beyond   our   own   times

the   t r u e   revolutions    h a p p e n
within  the  covers  of our  best books
inside the noises of words with words
inside the movements of reading eyes

the  writers    are   the   engines
the  artists     are   the   engines
and   the    women    and    men
and   the   girls   and   the   boys
read ing    those    noisy    books
all  are   engines  of true change

the   words  contain  the  power
and the books  must  have  that
power  and  the  noise  of    that
story and the shout of that song
must always be  louder than the
silence  of the  bullets  and   the
silent   deaths  of  grim   despair

we   m o v e  forward  with   love

the   s t r u g g l e  c o n t I n u e s

©2009 arnold adoff. all rights reserved.

Arnold Adoff is a recipient of the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children, recognizing his work both as poet and anthologist. I became a fan upon discovering his book Chocolate Dreams - a whole book of poems on chocolate! That, by itself, makes him a hero in these parts. But no matter what his subject matter, I love the way he works with rhythm and his ability to find the perfect word for the perfect place... to make his reader see something familiar in a new light.

On his web site Arnold Adoff says "... I can open a child's imagination, develop his appetite for poetry, and more importantly, show him that poetry is a natural part of everyday life. We all need someone to point out that the emperor is wearing no clothes. That's the poet's job." If so, I believe Arnold Adoff has fulfilled the poet's job quite well, indeed, and I'm thrilled to have him be a part of 30 Poets/30 Days.

Yesterday we had Skeleton at Dinner by Kristine O'Connell George. Tomorrow... My Teacher by Jane Yolen!


tanita✿davis said...

The first time I read this poem, I wanted to hear the poet read it aloud -- I love the spaces between the letters and the visual experience of reading the poem; I wonder how he makes that sound...

Anonymous said...

wow! adoff speaks truth for adults as well as children for the here and NOW. poignant reality gripping challenging does reading mean we are obliged to act? hmm