Today’s way to help Ukraine is the World Food Programme.


After thirty years of working as a librarian and after seeing art education vanish from American schools over the decades, florist and poet Nancy Kangas began leading a poetry program as artist in residence at a preschool in Columbus, Ohio.

She was quickly staggered by the plain, poignant ways in which children who could neither read nor write so readily named their hopes and fears — those elemental human longings coursing through the inner child that lives in each of us, deep beneath the strata of self-protective pretense we call adult personhood

As she got to know the children and their families, she also discovered that they were writing their poems with their lives — lives often strewn with hardship and violence and loss, but also irradiated by an innocent gladness and irrepressible hunger for connection, for beauty, for wonder.

After nearly a decade of teaching poetry to young children — and letting children teach her the poetics of reality seen with the clearest eyes — Kangas teamed up with documentary filmmaker Josh Kun in what became their lovely project Preschool Poets, inviting artists from around the world to animate eight of the children’s tenderest and most touching poems.

This is one of them — composed by Brayden, performed by Miracle, and animated by Ukrainian filmmaker and artist Stas Santimov.

My thanks to Maria Popova for her post How To Fix A World: A Four-Year Old’s Prayerful Poem, Animated by a Ukrainian Artist.

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