Friday, September 5, 2008

A Question

I have been reading a wonderful anthology that is part poetry and part personal statments by many educators who use poetry either as a teaching tool [aside from curicculum] or as a personal prop, challenge, meditation. The book is called . I've found several new-to-me poems and several familiar ones and read the words of many people dedicated to teaching despite the many hardships they face day by day. One teacher, Tony Wagner, wrote that s/he sometimes makes up aphorisms and gave this example:

Is life nothing more than a question and answer period, where the questions go unanswered, and the answers go unquestioned?

There are many beautiful poems, many exquisite phrases and images, many profound thoughts in this book and I'm keeping it to come back to now and then. But I will come back to this teacher's question also -- it is the last phrase that cuts most importantly. It is not enough to ask questions, when we are given answer we must examine it and see if there are other answers, conflicting answers, where does the answer come from?

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