Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

poem-moment May 31, 2016

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:30 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

 

One moment,

red filled,

changes everything.

.

.

.

(Reading S. E. Hinton’s Outsiders with my class today, and ch. 4 definitely has a red-filled moment that changes everything…).

Advertisements
 

quote-Cassandra Clare on books October 18, 2013

Filed under: Quotations,Reading — Shawn L. Bird @ 6:26 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

   Will grinned. “Some of these books are dangerous,” he said.  “It’s wise to be careful.”

   “One must always be careful of books,” said Tessa, “and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us…  Only the very weak-minded refuse to be influenced by literature and poetry.”

Cassandra Clare in Clockwork Angel (p. 86)

I’m always so sad when I hear from kids boasting that they’ve never read a book.  They miss so much opportunity to learn and grow!  Readers live thousands of lives, experience diverse perspectives, and make emotional connections with worlds far apart from their own.

What literature and poetry have influenced you?

 

poem- Nobel Alice October 10, 2013

Filed under: Poetry,Reading,Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:26 pm
Tags: , , ,

They said

short stories were out of fashion

but you wrote them any way

They said

women didn’t make good

subjects for novels

but you wrote them anyway

They said

Canada doesn’t have a literary voice

along with Margaret, Hugh, Leonard, et al

you wrote one anyway.

They said

Alice is Nobel and you said,

‘I forgot that was today.’

.

.

Congratulations to Canada’s Alice Munro who today received the Nobel Prize for Literature.  Interviewed this morning on CBC she said that she’d forgotten today was the announcement, and when her daughter woke her at 4:00 to tell her she’d won, she said, “Won what?”

Of course, any way.

 

Fictional truths March 3, 2013

March is Literacy Month in the world of Rotary, and there is an interesting article in this month’s  The Rotarian magazine.  It quotes cognitive psychologist Keith Oatley saying,

…reading more fiction enables you to understand other people better.  Fiction is about exploring a range of circumstances and interactions and characters you’re likely to meet.  Fiction is not a description of ordinary life; it’s a simulation.

Well, duh.  Any writer could tell you that.  My husband, who has a psychology degree, vets my characters and makes sure I am keeping consistent psychological profiles and responses.  I write teen fantasy, mind you.  Even those of us crafting fictional worlds do so with care.

Our worlds are crafted to give our readers an opportunity to explore another life, other responses, other realities.

I find it vaguely amusing that the professional business world may not have realised that there is a reason literature is in the curriculum.  It would behove more of our leaders to pay close attention to the lessons of Orwell’s 1984, for example.  A more well-read population should also be quicker to recognise the danger signs they’ve seen in literature.  That’s why I’m a high school English teacher.  Along side the history teachers, I aim to provide warnings and inspiration.  To raise the next generation to see with clear eyes and communicate their vision with well-chosen words.

Later in the article they quote Oatley quoting Aristotle, “History…tells us only what has happened, whereas fiction tells us what can happen, which can stretch our moral imaginations and give us insights into ourselves and other people.”  He adds that fiction “measurably enhances our abilities to empathize with other people and connect with something larger than ourselves.”

Hear. Hear.

.

Work cited:

Bures, Frank.  “The Truth about Fiction.” The Rotarian.  Vol 191 No. 9  March 2013.  pp.29-30.

PS. It behoves me to mention that ‘behove’ is the British spelling of ‘behoove.’

 

Review- Lost in Spaaaaaaain July 11, 2012

Filed under: book reviews — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:52 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Lost in Spain.

.

LOST IN SPAIN by John Wilson

Markham: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2000.  174 p.

YA historical novel

It is a fast read, so it’s not deep, but it did give me a real sense of the Spanish Civil War that fit with what I experienced and heard when I was in Spain earlier this year. Lots of action to keep you flipping pages. I was stunned when I started reading and discovered the book opened in my small BC town! Not what you expect about a book set in Spain, you can imagine. I was irritated by how Ted refers to his father as Will throughout the book. Why doesn’t he call him dad? or father? It’s so strange, it seemed there should be a reason for it. He calls his mother, Mom, after all. An interesting read that seemed to give a good glimpse at the character of the country and the context for the history.
 

 
%d bloggers like this: