Walking On Water is a classic book by Madeleine L'Engle, author of timeless treasures like A Wrinkle in Time, A Ring of Endless Light and others. Though I was familiar with her fiction I had never read any of her spiritual classics.
Convergent/ Penguin Random House, LLC has presented a beautiful reprint featuring a modern and (though understated) artistic cover. This updated version also contains a very well written preface by Sara Zarr who places the work in context and emphasizes its value in today's world. Don't skip it!
Christian Artists in all areas are still asking the same questions: How do we balance our faith and art? L'Engle attempts to answer this mountain of a question and, I believe, in her own way she succeeded.
Apart from the Bible, no book has impacted me as deeply as Walking On Water. I couldn't put it down. I felt like I was having a great conversation with the author herself as she not only spoke to me, but understood me. She grasps the rich tangle of an artistic mind and the layers of questions and fears we wrestle with. She also shouts with literary elegance the great responsibility and opportunity we have as artists to create with God and heal our world through the act of obedience and willing participation. She explains in brilliant language things I think our souls already know on some level, but couldn't accept.
My book is all marked up with underlining and notes in the margins. Everything spoke to me on a deep level I can't even fully explain.
This book reached me where I'm at. It gave a sort of marching orders to be excellent, not create bad religion. To create in union with the Creator. To guard the dreamers, the children, the places of fairy tales and unicorns and art. To be who and what I am with no divisions.
I needed this message and I believe others do as well.
I highly recommend this book for artists, those who value art and for anyone that teaches children.
I was given this book by Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.
It is my sincere honor to give this book 5 stars and, if I could, I'd give it a galaxy.
Here are just some of the wonderful lines I've highlighted in my copy. . .
I love poetry. I always have. Yet,somehow, sharing poetry with my children is not as simple as I thought it would be.
My best experience teaching poetry to my children was when we studied Lullabye by Eve Merriam. You can read this poem here.
We read the poem and then made purple playdough. If you need recipes for playdough you can see my post with tons of recipes here. You might try using grape flavored kool-aide if your child doesn't have allergies.
We also made purple the "color of the day". We read Harold and the Purple Crayon and cooked egg plant for dinner.
We did these activities on July 19th, which was Eve Merriam's Birthday. It was also a good time to be outside and hunt for purple objects in nature.
I understand that poetry study is a subject included in most Charlotte Mason home schools. To be honest, my home school is floundering on this topic. So far, we have completed two semesters attempting the Ambelside poetry list. My kids just seem bored. The poetry is odd language to them and the words are sometimes mispronounced to make a rhyme. They just don't seem to understand it.
It's hard not to include fun, child-friendly poetry that I read and loved as a child, poetry that would surely be considered twaddle by some. One of my favorite modern children's poet is Sara Holbrook. I especially love her poem titled The Storm That Was. I would not consider her poetry to be twaddle. I find it genuine and insightful. I think she gives tremendous respect to childhood feelings and presents them in an honest and often humorous light.
Frankly,I don't really understand the term twaddle. As a writer myself I struggle with the concept that some books are viewed as garbage. That thought makes me very sad. Of course, I wouldn't read (or benefit from) every book out there today, but I believe there are gems from our decade that can achieve beautiful learning and evoke great poetic images for our children. I hate to skim over them just because they aren't "classic".
So here is your part to jump in. I'm throwing these questions out to my readers. What is your favorite poet? Can you think of a poetry lesson that was extremely meaningful, productive, or just plain fun? Do you include modern poetry in your lessons? How do you define the worth of poetry? Do you cringe at the word "twaddle" too?
If you're up to the challenge, please consider blogging about your experiences or feelings from my list of questions above. If you take my challenge, be sure add a comment below with a link to your related post.
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