What words can do…

November 19, 2007

Unspoken Words Finally Spoken

“I have arrived ahead of my words.

When I speak there is no response.

There is only muted silence.

My words are still not formed,

not yet born,

they will not be hastened or rushed.

Like one does with toy soldiers,

I do the same with my unspoken words.

I prop them up,

arrange them in ranks,

I move them about,

caress them, cajole them.

I play games with them, these words,

these musical games.

In my mind I concentrate on their harmonies,

their progression,

but the right words

do not form the right way

so I push them aside.

I have arrived before my words,

Now the words, drab, neglected,

no longer engage me.

The musical expression of the words

I thought I heard

die in the air,

never spoken,

nowhere to go.

But the pain I feel is still there,

it’s all that’s left.

It is a desert I’ve come to know.

I have arrived before my words.

 

I want to write my story. A story so inspiring, so important to turn peoples’ lives around or stop them from going down those roads I have traveled . . . I am trying the best way I can to put my story on paper in hopes it turns someone else’s life around. In writing, it is also letting the ghosts out of my mind.” (Dionne)

This poem is an excerpt from an edited volume of autobiographical writings of women who are homeless. The book is called I have Arrived Before My Words, it’s edited by Deborah Pugh and Jeanie Tietjen, and I’m happy to share it with other DLC community members…

Peace, rebecca (schaffer)

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One Response to “What words can do…”

  1. yashna Says:

    R,

    That was a great poem. It seems to be such an appropriate poem for our AL students.

    When I was reading the positive sounding parts, it reminded me of working with our Wilson Reading System…
    “I prop them up,
    arrange them in ranks,
    I move them about,
    caress them, cajole them.
    I play games with them, these words,
    these musical games.
    In my mind I concentrate on their harmonies,
    their progression,” (Dionne)

    And the “negative” sounding parts
    “But the pain I feel is still there,
    it’s all that’s left.
    It is a desert I’ve come to know.
    I have arrived before my words.” (Dionne)
    …they remind me of stories I have heard from students about what it felt like BEFORE their classes at DLC.

    Maybe literacy can be water in the desert.


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