Saturday, April 13, 2019

the instruction book?

analytic vs generative

consider a game and its rule book:
how much interest do you have
in the ins and outs of the instructions
until you’ve watched it being played, 
or played it a bit yourself?
there comes a time when the rules are interesting,
but not till the game itself captures you,

as teachers, we can forget early developmental stages,
we can fall in love with the structures
that appear so clear to us now,
and we falsely imagine that taking apart the whole
would help the young create the whole anew,
the ascendancy of the analytic over the generative,

I watch kids and I seek to learn from them,
I sought to help a kid write a poem,
and I inspired myself to write the poem instead,
ever since I have trusted the impulse
to shape thought and feeling into coherence
as the prime directive,
to bring forth a whole
that wants to be born
if we can but release 
ourselves into the shaping,

I watch kids and I seek to learn from them,
for me, a kid should write poems first,
working on idea, on feeling, on memory,
on authenticity,
and then figurative language can be tools
to capture meaning even better, 
not as words and technique to learn first,
for then a poem is made of Legos without a story
to bind them into the magic of meaning,

my grandson knows how to construct things
into a whole with a story,
of such is the challenge of an educator:
to learn by being, and doing,
to be of the whole that only later knows the parts.

by Henry H. Walker
April 12, ‘19

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