Outside my window,
a new dawn I can see
and only I can divine,
the kind of day it will be.

It can be thrilling and bold,
eventful and daring,
or daunting and cold,
grim and uncaring.

My own state of mind
is the limiting key,
for I am the person
I let myself be.

I can be thoughtful and friendly
to all whom I see,
or be selfish and careless
and think only of me.

I can savor my goals
and to reach for the sun,
or gripe and complain
and be useful to none.

I can be patient with those
whom may not comprehend,
or mock and deride them
and be prone to offend.

But I have faith in myself,
and can strive for a way,
to cherish each moment
and master each day.

By: W Wayne Norris

I chose this poem as it is an ultimate text for me. I read and re-read this poem growing up, sometimes reciting it to myself on a bad day. Ong (1982) talks about the finality of text and how we take what is printed to be true. Text is our interpretation and the impact we let that text have on us. The simple series of connected symbols on a page could transform my mood, demonstrating the power of text.

It was not until some point in my twenties that I found out my dad wrote it. Which of course made the poem way cooler for me. He is a gifted writer and storyteller, though denies it.

Ong, Walter. (1982). Orality and literacy: The technologizing of the word. London: Methuen.

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4 Responses to Today

  1. Lynette Manton says:

    Hi Danielle,

    I read the poem and was touched, then I read on and was even more touched. Did your father write it for you?


    • Hi Lynette,

      Thanks for your comments. I am not actually sure who he wrote it for, I will ask him. I found it lying around at some point when I was a kid. I am not a big fan of poetry but had always been impressed by this one. Years later, I mentioned the poem and the fact that I didn’t know who wrote it. Finding out it was his was a great moment.


  2. Dennis Pratt says:

    Hey Danielle;

    I am glad someone posted about text and poetry as it has been a very powerful tool to move people. It seems as though we use poetry when we are very young and then leave it alone until we are older (at least in my opinion). There is great power in it, even though much of today’s generation does not recognize this (except in music).


    • Hi Dennis,

      That is a good point. I don’t recall doing much creative writing later on in my education. I have never been a big fan of poetry (except Robert Service and Roald Dahl) but I have to say that I am rediscovering it. My students are natural poets – it is in their blood – and I am constantly amazed at what they produce.


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