by ©Gary Zarda – Used with permission
A poem about seeing students through the power of the Multiple Intelligences.
Gary is a former student of mine from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, and an English teacher in Rhinelander, WI. Beyond personal use, if you wish to use or print Gary’s poem, I will forward your request. Contact Leslie
In my view
there are many rather than one.
Try as the system might,
they can’t homogenize
by test, terms, or convenient category
what is essentially, pleasantly more than one
See the one who’s but a blurred tinkerer
the bodily-kinesthetic, whose very name
is a dance of the tongue.
Her seat is a prison, neat rows the bars.
she must move,
act, dance, sign…more, more, more.
Let her literally grasp a concept.
See the one who’s a veritable calculator
the logically math’ed, for whom
two plus two is, of course, comfortably four.
His is the world of reason and reasons.
He must equate,
analogate, Pythagorate, promulgate the world’s geometry.
Let him cut clearly if his mind so dictates.
See the world’s sorter, as this one would see you.
She’s the visually spatial. For her,
the layout of our spaces is a known frontier.
Your chaos is her pattern.
She must lay it all out,
paint, landscape, find Zen via Venn diagrams.
Let her, by organizers, bottle Faulkner.
See the one who takes things as personal
the ultra intra guy of the inner mind
whose focus is a self-actualizing implosion
Seeking solace within versus without.
He must take pause,
journal, meditate, make note of his mood’s storms.
Let him, above all, have a moment to think.
See the one who’d prefer you’d listen
the musical one with the headphones on.
She’s putting your lecture to ball point rhythms
as others nearly come undone.
She must swim sounds,
tune timbre, make melody, be the critic analytic.
Let her put wisdom to song.
See the great communicator, gathering the world to a position of one.
He’s interpersonal and tuned into you
“people-watching” body language and motivations
of the world’s differentiated faces.
He must reach out,
take group temperature, mediate, subtly persuade.
Let him work the crowd for good, or he might do it for evil.
See the one who sees both the forest and the trees
the naturalist of flora and fauna.
She is of and in the elements
And finds peace in the transcendental hum.
She must get her hands dirty,
test soil, scope water, read the mysteries of the sky.
Let her, nature willing, do more than discern non-living forms.
See the one who puts the world to lettered form
the linguist, the crafter of language who relishes, zealously,
sounds and arrangements of words, is keeper
of Cormier’s favored ‘embers such as September, November, and December.
He must be given voice,
read, write, speak the truly glorious word.
Let him distill the vapors of thought.
See, by close attention, the one of old soul, though young.
She is spiritually intelligent even though the intelligentsia
banish her realm to mere superstition
out of fear of the ungraspable abstract.
She must make connections,
Seek justice, believe in unity, and, ultimately, serve a higher cause.
Let her, rather than answer, simply savor the moment’s question.
These are but a few
of perhaps, many, many more
so-called, multiple intelligences,
but there is certainly more than one.
One is but a number, misused in lumping
into a reductive sum of one.