Poetry Friday: “I Am Poetry”


I have spent the past week at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project’s Summer Reading Institute. My brain is bursting with all I have learned from my amazing section leaders and the keynote speakers. My senses are overwhelmed by the sights and sounds of New York City in August. My life is richer because of people I have met and friends I have made. It has been a glorious week.

How could I possibly choose a poem to share today that reflects my week? By focusing on one small piece of my experience.

Each teacher was given a book at the beginning of the week to use as a mentor text for the work of the Institue. I received Becoming Naomi León (Scholastic Press, 2004) by Pam Muñoz Ryan. I have loved every book I’ve read by Ryan, but somehow, I had missed this beautiful story about a young girl finding her true self. Pam Muñoz Ryan’s writing is so lyrical, I wondered if she’d written any poetry. A quick search reminded me about The Dreamer, Ryan’s lovely book about the young Pablo Neruda and led me to this poem:

“I Am Poetry”

by Pam Muñoz Ryan

I am poetry,

waiting to seize the poet.

I ask the questions

for which all answers


I choose no one.

I choose every one.

Come closer…

…if you dare.

I am poetry,

lurking in dappled shadow.

I am the confusion

of root

and gnarled branch.

I am the symmetry

of insect,


and a bird’s outstretched wings.

Read the rest of the poem here.

If you haven’t read Becoming Naomi León, The Dreamer, or any of Ryan’s other novels for children, read one today. You’ll be glad you did. 

Please be sure to visit Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe for the Poetry Friday Round Up.

9 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: “I Am Poetry”

  1. Beautiful, Catherine, and what a marvelous week you’ve had! I’ve read Becoming Naomi León & loved it, & Esperanza Rising with several groups through the years. Wonderful writing. Thank you!


  2. I can tell that this was another amazing TC week, Catherine – I can’t wait to read more of what you’ve learned! Pam gave the keynote at TC a few summers ago – I still remember the power of her words.


  3. Great poem! I’ll have to check out her books. I love how inspired you sound after your time at teaching college.


  4. What a poetic way to describe your glorious week – “My brain is bursting…My senses are overwhelmed…My life is richer…” Your post makes me want to check out The Dreamer! Esperanza Rising is one of my favorite books.


  5. I love that book! Thank you for reminding me, and for your selection today! (Teachers College Summer Reading Institute = I’m Jealous)


  6. Lucky, lucky you! One day I’ll go back…This is a beautiful companion to J. Pat’s poem, “Everything is a Poem,” I think. We poets do love to write about writing poetry!


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