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Archive for July 3rd, 2012

The Dovekeepers

Join the Tuesday Slice of Life

Here it is Tuesday again. I committed to writing a blog every Tuesday for the Two Writing Teachers’ Slice of Life Tuesdays. Last week we were on our family trip to Chicago, so I skipped writing. All week I have tried to start a new post about our trip. Why is a family vacation so hard to write about? A lot happened. We had a great time. We made up a few new family sayings like “Get on the train,” and “He’s right off the Pirate Float,” but it’s a kind of woulda-hadto-been-there situation. Not easy to convey, you know.

Inspired by other slicers today (one was inspired by a billboard, the other by Hallmark magnets), I decided to write about a book I am reading. The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman is a beautiful novel set on Masada two thousand years ago. Written from the point of view of 4 women, it is rich in historical and mystical details. One of the exercises I enjoy doing with my students when they are reading a novel is a “found” poem. Using the text of the book, the writer finds a poem. Using Alice Hoffman’s beautiful language, I found this poem:

The Dovekeepers

People say our mother walked on water.
She traded rubies for a boat.
Pure, elemental, hot to the touch
given by your father’s blood.

A storm rose like stones
set out to block our way.
Our mother saw our destiny
saying water will heal
and protect us.

Mountains became our vision.
Our journey scented with fire and metal,
I could hear the beating
heart of the world,
the center of creation.

Our mother released the doves.
Those winged creatures
rise upward.

(Borrowed words from pages 293-294 of The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman)

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