Monday, September 27, 2010

Warning - My Poem Writing Year #181

Go ahead.  Disagree.  You are welcome to do so.  You may disagree with any words that anyone writes anywhere.  If you live and read and write in a free country such as The United States, your right to freedom of expression allows me to say what I wish and you to do the same.  We may speak and write about what we experience, believe, and invent.  These freedoms are protected by the Amendment I in The Bill of Rights of the US Constitution.

Of course, freedom of speech is not an excuse to shoot our mouths off or hurt people with our words.  The other side of the freedom coin is responsibility, and in this blog I work to be responsible to my readers and to earn your trust.  This responsibility means that sometimes I must speak out about things I believe in.  And I believe in books.

September 25 - October 2, 2010 is Banned Books Week.  All over the US, schools, libraries, communities, and bookshops are speaking out for challenged books, for the right of authors to be read, regardless of their words.  There are people who work to have books taken off of shelves because they do not agree with the stories or words presented.  It is the right of these people to do so.  But it is my right to disagree with them.

Students - this post is about something I believe is important, something I would fight for - freedom of expression.  What would you fight for?  (I do not mean fighting with fists, but  standing up for something, working for a cause.)  These things you believe in will surely be powerful and rich writing ideas.

Teachers - if you would like to share a simple and sweet puppet video explaining the importance of ALL books, you can find one here at Banned Books Week Videos.  And if you would like to use today's poem in any public way by posting it on your blog or hanging it in your library, I welcome you to do so without permission (though I'd love to know!)

What can you do if you wish to defend the right of all books to live on library shelves?  You can do many things, but the best one is probably to read a banned book.  Of course, you may disagree with anything I say here.  You have the right to do so in the comments.

If you live in a country without freedom of speech, I pray that one day you will have this human right.

After explaining Banned Books Week to my children (11, 10, and 8), I read them this book, AND TANGO MAKES THREE.  We all fell in love with its tender message of love and kindness.  My eyes teared up, both at the story and at the thought that anyone could reject such a truth and theme.

(Please click on COMMENTS below to share a thought.)


  1. Great poem Amy!! What banned book did you read for the week? Thinking of setting aside my current book and reading Of Mice and Men.

  2. Thank you, Kathy! I am also going to set aside my book to read TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. A.

  3. Amy,
    Congratulations on six months of poems and on a great poem/post! Huck Finn is my favorite target of the censors.