(24 January 1961 / South Africa)

A Smokescreen

Bragging at work, telling alI I'm over saying goodbye
to my daughter, going home to eat and eat and eat,
bread, granola and instant oats & wondering what's
going on, why am I depressed looking at the lovely
book that inspired me last night to plan a lesson in
writing for kids: how they would have to write their
stories in groups then shorten by focusing on main
elements, after that - reading the prescribed book
to let them discover what good writing is all about:

Polishing, filing, cutting and weeding an original text,
a great work of art starts as a long winding road of
thoughts which the author and editor cut away until
only the essence, the main theme and all the special
supporting chords are left - what a fantasy - what a
great dream: getting kids to understand by doing &
upstaging their elders, though after indulging in the
visionary excitement I still don't feel well as some-
thing's wrong, something's gone - oh yes -

My daughter's in Mexico for six months, looks like
my bandied about calm was just a smoke-screen
to fool myself….

by Margaret Alice Second

Comments (1)

Good habits can be learned early if you make writing an adventure, yours is a very interesting poem, with a fine rhythm and a surprising conclusion. If you actually teach children, they are lucky kids. Tom Billsborough