Shared joys and concerns across cultures and language, expressed in the poetry of children
When school children from Kent, Ohio and Florence, Italy, were invited to express their thoughts about “Where I’m From” in poetry, the connections that emerged between these students from different continents were remarkable. Their responses to this prompt―“lo vengo da” in Italian―demonstrate the underlying importance of home, families, the natural world, and the creative identities that children harbor within them.
The 40 poems in I Hear the World Sing, printed in both English and Italian, presents these poems in three sections―“The Chirp of Little Birds,” “Witness the River,” and “I Write to Grow a World”―which explore and celebrate the commonalities between us. Anyone can be a poet, no matter the language one speaks or writes. And by presenting each poem in two languages, this collection emphasizes how successfully poetry transcends both physical and linguistic boundaries, no matter the age of the poet.
Originally composed in workshops facilitated by the Wick Poetry Center’s Traveling Stanzas project and translated by students in Kent State University’s Italian translation program, I Hear the World Sing is an invitation for students of poetry, of Italian, and readers of any age to reflect on language and how it shapes our lives.