Wednesday, 8 September 2010


“Through literacy you can begin to see the universe. Through music you can reach anybody. Between the two there is you, unstoppable.” – Grace Slick

Today is the United Nations/Unesco International Literacy Day. It is a day that is observed so that everyone who can read and write can celebrate that fact, but also to draw awareness on the fact that one in five people on this planet are still illiterate.

The Words I Write

The words I write are full of gratitude,
Each rounded letter a thank you,
Each line a heartfelt appreciation
Of my teachers’ tireless persistence.

The pages I read are full of knowledge,
Each word a bird in flight,
Each phrase a new friend, a new acquaintance,
Met in distant places, wandering through fabled cities.

The books I read are full of pleasure,
Each page full of new-felt emotion and senses;
Each sentence a laugh, some tears,
Some gentleness, some fiery argument.

The verse I write is full of thought and heart,
Of pain and joy, of brain and soul, love, friendship.
I write and read, and with unconscious ease effortlessly
Take for granted this precious gift of literacy.

I thank my luck for this privilege, this gift of providence,
That I was amongst the chosen to experience
This mystery of written word, of imprisoned sound,
Of captured language and word-pictures.
The present of literature, the happiness of calligraphy
The indulgence of a memoir, the work of words,
The magic of communication,
This richness of script.


  1. So beautifully put. I especially like the line about "effortlessly" taking for granted this gift. We really are lucky for this privilege, as you say.

  2. Yes we take it for granted that we can read and write and this is a beautiful poem that highlights our privilege....
    Happy Literacy Day Nic!!!!
    Miss Hanff (my grade 1 teacher) I love you!!!!!!