October 9, 2007

My Mantra & W.B. Yeats

"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire."
-William Butler Yeats

I'm going to add that to my mantra. So, my new Beginning Unschooler Mantra is "Light the fire, watch it grow." That's much better than "We'll see." And it still leaves room for the unexpected--which is important since just about everything, at this stage of the game, is unexpected!

Since it was Yeats that inspired my new mantra, I'm going to post one of his poems. Last Christmas Warren, Jerry and I (I'm using full names now, by the way) went to visit my sister in Ireland and we went to the very same Hazel Wood Yeats mentions in this poem. The photos were taken there.

The Song of Wandering Angus

I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread:
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire aflame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And some one called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.

-William Butler Yeats
Here we are in Hazel Wood. Going clockwise, that's my sister with her daughter Cora in the Baby Bjorn, then me, Warren, my nephew Carson, and Jerry.

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