One highlight of the annual Anisfield-Wolf awards ceremony is listening as a gifted local student reads aloud a poem of her or his own making.
Last year, second-grader Isabella Rodriguez commanded a rapt audience with “Home,” a remarkable work that begins “Suppose there is a city in the Buddha’s lap and his knees are the mountains singing.”
Her work was captured by the Traveling Stanzas project, a community arts project led by Wick Poetry Center and Kent State University’s Glyphix design studio. Community members and visitors to Northeast Ohio can see the beautifully designed posters “traveling” our region on Cleveland Rapid Transit Authority vehicles, as well as on Portage County’s PARTA.
Watch this arresting, one-minute video treatment of Isabella reading her poem, with animation by Devon Skunta-Helmink, a Kent State design student. It will whet your interest in our next young poet, appearing at the Sept. 12, 2013 ceremony on the stage of the Ohio Theatre at PlayhouseSquare in downtown Cleveland.
Suppose there is a city in the Buddha’s lap
and his knees are the mountains singing.
Suppose feathers rejoice when they fall
from an eagle’s wing, spinning and dancing.
Suppose nature is a map leading to willow trees
where spirits roam, speaking in old voices.
Suppose you can climb rocks like a billy goat
with clanking hooves and horns that curl for battle.
Suppose a path of dandelions and buttercups
takes you back to the mountain,
where you call out, “I’m home.”
Poem by Isabella Rodriguez, 2nd grade, Kent, Ohio