November evokes warm good feelings and smiles. It’s my anniversary month with my hubby who made my heart melt because he was game enough to put on a silly wig and dress up with me for Halloween with friends who also did the favor of dressing up & reciting original scary tales or poems or reading favorite traditional spoofy pieces. It carried me into November the way I like it to be – a full month of giving thanks, not just on the significant Nov 27.
For several years, where I’m a volunteer picture book reader in a school I love, I’ve shared poems that are written about thanks and thanks-giving, from authors of First Peoples/Native American/American Indian heritage.
Some of the resources I turn to are:
THE CIRCLE OF THANKS: Native American Poems and Songs of Thanksgiving told by Joseph Bruchac (Abenaki) with pictures by Murv Jacobs
THE EARTH UNDER SKY BEAR’S FEET: Native American Poems of the Land, collected and told by Joseph Bruchac (Abenaki), and illustrated by Thomas Locker
ENDURING WISDOM, Sayings from Native Americans, selected by Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve, with paintings by Snythia Saint James.
Each is beautifully illustrated and look like jewels, sitting open on the top of a child-height bookcase.
Many poems for children speak to a keen awareness of animals, trees and plants, land, or the Earth itself, rivers, lakes and sky, particularly during what Joseph Bruchac calls, “the living night.”
Because we are anticipating the homecoming of our daughter for Thanksgiving, which she hasn’t been able to celebrate with us for many years, I especially relate to these lines, from THE CIRCLE OF THANKS:
“As I play my drum
I look around me
and I see my people.
And my people are dancing
in a circle about me
and my people, they are beautiful.”
(Micmac, Northeast Coast)
copyright Joseph Bruchac
I am thankful for poets, for teachers, for the children’s literature community, for Poetry Friday creators, and for every breath I take. And of course, for my Family.