TILLING A FIELD – WRITING A POEM
Booker T. Washington (1856-1915) educator, author and orator wrote, “’No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem.”
Ann Voscamp wrote concerning this quote by Washington, “I’d smiled. I’d told Dad how our fourth child, third son, had had to copy out that same quote a few weeks earlier for penmanship. Levi had been disgusted; called us all to come listen to this quote he was sure was all wrong.
“With his brow furrowed,” so I tell Dad, “Levi had clarified. ‘Don’t you see what’s wrong? Anybody who is smart at all knows there’s a lot more dignity in working a field than in writing a poem!’”
Dad had slapped his leg, howled laughter ringing off barn and shed. His grandson had dirt in the blood. Then the laughter had dammed up into a swell of sentiment.
He’d pointed his gnarled finger. “You tell Levi.” He shook his finger to punctuate every word. “You tell that Levi . . .” He struggles to grab the words in this flood of feelings, “that for real farmers . . . that for me . . . Tilling a field is poetry.”
If you have ever tilled a field or written poetry… you know this is true.
“The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field.” Jesus