“There are many kinds of quiet,” begins The Quiet Book, written by Deborah Underwood. There’s “making a wish quiet” and “top of the roller coaster quiet.” There’s “being the last one to get picked up from school quiet” and “dropping a peanut butter sandwich face down quiet.” In a world that declares how much noise fills it yet doesn’t do much to put a stop to it, I find much hope in the quiet that can be found in our daily lives. Reading this book also makes me realize that quiet — in all its kinds — is something that is felt:
My walk back home
alone from the bus stop quiet
Spotting an open table at my favorite cafe quiet
Releasing myself from my mom and dad’s embrace,
getting in the car and going home quiet
Running through the arboretum with friends before the sun rises quiet
The garbage can standing on the the street and waiting
next to the tree
after just being emptied
I’ve read The Quiet Book to K-8 graders, and I think the reason quiet is something that is felt is because it’s relatable. With every class come comments such as, “Oh, that reminds me…,” or, “I know exactly what that’s like.” There seems to be much opportunity in quiet. It provides connection. It allows for empathy — another something that must be felt for its power to truly work.
This week listen (look and feel), for the different kinds of quiet in your life. Then write a poem about it.
Thanks to everyone who participated in last year’s Poetry Prompt. Here’s one from Richard Maxson we enjoyed:
A Brief Enchantment
There are many ways to enter
a December wood or, forest,
let it remain enchanted,
no matter what words we use.
The first of all attributes is magic:
snow expanding the landscape,
darkening the boles of trees
splashed with bands of white,
their lofty panniers of green
now gelid umbrellas above you.
This is the silence where worlds begin,
a depth made deeper by multitudes.
The vivid face in the sun’s mirror
shows you the roundness of chaos.
So much occurs in the in the quiet sky,
in the vast everywhere you are not.
These are the new woods we watch
fill up with stars, knowing that snow
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