To Fill A Gap

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To fill a Gap
Insert the Thing that caused it—
Block it up
With Other—and 'twill yawn the more—
You cannot solder an Abyss
With Air.

by Emily Dickinson

Comments (1)

As high school administrators preparing for the coming year, my principal and I were searching for something “real” in regards to soliciting 'buy in' from our teachers as to our expectations of their teaching. He found this poem in an educational article written in 1980. I'm not sure what Emily was thinking when she wrote it but I know what we were thinking when we read it. A gap in a child's learning cannot be filled with any substitute or replaced with anything other than what was supposed to be there. To do so, or to try to do so will only cause a greater chasm to develop. To ignore the issue will not bring about self-healing and the gap will remain. These simple statements are thought provoking in a moment and in the next, their solid pragmatism leaves the reader wondering, 'Heck, why didn't I think of that? ' Alan