Monday, January 16, 2017

A Stone of Hope

On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King delivered a powerful speech, I Have a Dream, in Washington, D. C. Today, decades later, many Americans are honoring King as we celebrate a national holiday, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. King's words, strong in their delivery at the time, still hold true in this age as we face a new year.

One particular line from the I Have a Dream speech resonates with me: "Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope." In tribute to the legacy of Martin Luther King, I recall an incredible experience I had while presenting at the NCTE Convention in Atlanta last November. I was privileged to take a historical tour of Atlanta, the Civil Rights Tours led by Tom Houck, a personable, informative guide who was Martin Luther King's aide. Being immersed in the life and words of Martin Luther King told from Tom's perspective, was so inspiring that I was moved to pen my first Golden Shovel poem.

The rules I followed for the Golden Shovel poetic form are stated below by Writer's Digest.
  • Take a line (or lines) from a poem you admire.
  • Use each word in the line (or lines) as an end word in your poem.
  • Keep the end words in order.
  • Give credit to the poet who originally wrote the line (or lines).
  • The new poem does not have to be about the same subject as the poem that offers the end words.
Tom Houck discusses the painting of MLK that is hanging in the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.

"Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope."
Martin Luther King, Jr.

From the streets of Atlanta out
to Americans today, life is full of
thoughts: What will transpire in the
new year? What mountain
are we to climb in pursuit of 
a joyful life, not despair?
We stand together on a
precipice holding a stone
with one single word of
wonder - hope
©CV, 2017

I, like many Americans, have a dream. On our national holiday, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, I remember the sights and sounds of Atlanta brought to life by Tom Houck, an incredible storyteller, and shall honor the legacy of a great man whose life was the pursuit of hope.

Each year, I have written a post honoring Martin Luther King, Jr., an American hero. If interested, they can be accessed by clicking each link below.
-Honoring the Words of Martin, Luther King, Jr. 
-Listening, I hear the Call of Winter
-Importance of Voice 

Each Tuesday Two Writing Teachers offer space for teachers and writers to offer their Slice of Life. Please visit the site here. 

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