Friday, December 8, 2017


My middle schoolers surprise me pretty much every day. Earlier this week, one of the eighth graders randomly asked if I like poetry. I read poetry pretty regularly to my seventh graders, but I have never had this student in a class, so she didn't know that I love poetry. She proceeded to tell me that her aunt had written a poetry book. She went back to her locker to get the book. I flipped through it, and knew it was one that our older kids would love. It's the kind of poetry they love- poetry about relationships, about, love, about caring too much, and about breaking up. I told her I wanted to buy a copy and the next day she brought me one as a gift.

FROM SCARS TO BEAUTY would be a great book to share with high school kids, or with a women's group, to talk about writing as a tool for thinking and feeling. It's really uniquely formatted, with the title, often followed by a zinger last line, at the bottom of the page. It's a book I know my seventh grade girls are going to fight over.

if i could,
i would point out
the exact:
aligned in the stars
of the
exact moment
i lost myself.



i was a mother
to my mother
so when she asked
to become one for me
i only knew
how to look down.
i never learned
how to look up
to the woman
that checked out.

--- you sucked the
     childhood out of me


she's silent.
she spoke with
the fire
she held within.
her fury as no match
for those
who burned her.


In the afterward, Nicki Naomi says
"i grew up writing in a back leather-bound notebook. 
i filled every page with poems about the grief that held 
concerning my father's addiction to drugs and my mother's addiction to 
money among the many other childhood traumas that I experienced. Even at 
an early age i knew that channeling my emotions into writing was a a
healthy healing factor.  i knew that without it, i would otherwise remain
silent and potentially numb to myself the way my mom did. 

my poetry is a constant. and it's constantly evolving. the same way that i
am. the more i grow, the more my work does. i am a huge believer in
turning scars into poems, putting them in a book and moving forward.
rereading them once or twice a lifetime, either to improve yourself or the
lives of others. then, putting it back on the shelf where it belongs. 
"you can visit the darkness, but never live in it."
we are meant to survive. 

This is exactly what I want my students to understand about poetry. If you feel the same way, you can buy FROM SCARS TO BEAUTY on Amazon.

You can read more poetry at Lisa's  STEPS AND STAIRCASES.

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