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Poetry and science collide

on November 4, 2009

On Tuesday, the Julia Morgan School for Girls welcomed Mary Ann Hoberman and Linda Winston, co-editors of the new children’s poetry book The Tree That Time Built: A Celebration of Nature, Science, and Imagination. Hoberman is the author of over 40 children’s books and is the National Children’s Poet Laureate, while Winston is a cultural anthropologist and teacher.

At the middle school, located on the Mills College campus, were 120 sixth and seventh grade girls eager to hear excerpts from the poetry collection. The environmental message — expressed by the various poets within the book — is one the editors said is particularly relevant for children today.

“We wanted to bring poetry and science together,” Hoberman said. “They are not fields that are divided from one another.  They both share a sense of wonder…and we hope that this book passes along that wonder to its young readers.”

To wax poetic, here’s a passage from the book, by one of my own favorite poets, William Blake:

To see a World in a grain of sand

And a Heaven in a wild flower

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand

And Eternity in an hour.

Deep stuff. Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll go stare at some daffodils for a while.

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Photo by Basil D Soufi
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