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Dear Reader,

View this page as a place where you and I can have a conversation on subjects that are meaningful to both of us. On a regular basis I plan to post a topic or question on my mind which I encourage you to respond to (see below).

On this same page you will also find some of the responses that have been sent in by those who have viewed this web site. Please feel free to submit your own questions and thoughts which I might comment on and share with other viewers. I truly look forward to hearing from you.


Archive for April, 2006

The Dreams of Immigrants and Us All

Wednesday, April 12th, 2006

I teach creative writing to immigrant students who attend the College of Mount St. Vincent Institute for Immigration Concerns in New York City. I asked them to add their voices to the wonderful poem, In Praise of Dreams, written by Nobel Poetry Prize winner Wislawa Szymborska. I share with you their beautiful dreams.
In my dreams
I am a bird
I fly in a permanent blue sky
I sing a song of Freedom
I have no constraint, no fence
I can go everywhere
My limits are the limits of the World
— by Robert Sebisaho, Democratic Republic of Congo (Central Africa)
In my dreams
I visited many countries.
In my dreams I see
Everybody being friends,
In my dreams I see
One sky for all.
In my dreams I see
A lot of food
And everybody eats.
— by Victor Garcia, Mexico
I relive in the past time
When I want to be a child
I discuss with God
To reconsider about wars.
— by Si Thu, Burma
In my dreams
I travel far and wide
By foot, by wings
I climbed the highest of the mountains
Crossed the deepest of the rivers
Past the greenest of the trees
Till I find the truest peace.
— by Ngwe Thawdar, Burma
In my dreams
I am a new baby
I can learn everything from the beginning
I swim like a goldfish
Shaking my tail leisurely
I am so amazing
I can pass tests so easily
The greatest doctor is me
Patients come to me weak, go away healthy
I have so much money
I never worry about what I can donate
My smile looks like Spring
My songs make people happy
I am the mysterious magician
The world becomes so peaceful under my charm
Nobody is hungry.
Nobody is poor.
I see the kingdom once in my thoughts
I see the desert change into an oasis
I’m in the heavens
Beautiful flowers give me a shower
I am the beautiful fairy in a story
Animals play around me.
— by Aihong Liu, China
In my dreams,
I walk and walk and I never get tired.
I can walk in the dark and not trip.
I can reach a star just stretching my arm.
I can see beyond the sky.
My heart is never tired.
I can clean my arteries by simply closing my eyes.
My womb is so big that I can protect all the poor children of the world.
People who I love do not die.
The neurons of my brain don’t die, they multiply.
I’m a great speaker to multitudes of people.
My skin is intact, my arteries are clean, my bones are strong and my steps firm and secure.
I race a bicycle in the Tour de France.
I can stop time.
Everything that dies is reborn again.
— by Ana L. Rojas, Chile
In my dreams
I would like to speak a lot of English fluently.
I dream I am a talented woman.
In my dreams I speak English fluently, Greek fluently, French fluently.
In my dreams I return to when I was 20 years old.
In my dreams I succeed in discovering the secret of living forever
— no one dies, there is no hurt, no grief.
In my dreams I want to be a Cinderella.
In my dreams I would like to be slim.
I would like to find the diet to eat more and stay slender.
In my dreams I learn how to speak and write English correctly.
Then I want to wake up.
In my dreams I would like to take away death .
In my dreams I would like to open the frontier borders to people who are responsible, reliable, trustworthy – but not to Saddam Hussein.
I would like to be safe in the United States.
— by Maria Lopez, Colombia
When I was a little girl
Between eight and 10 years old
Each night, in my dream,
I saw the Angel.
She spoke to me. But,
I didn’t remember
What she said (when I woke up).
One day, I saw
Someone who I knew
She said, ‘’Miralia!
Come fly with me.’’
I accepted to do this
And I flew with her
We got up so far
We were flying like birds.
I was very happy
To play in space
Suddenly, I fell
From the air
Finally, I woke up
And I was very tired.
— by Miralia Louis, Haiti
Now, here is the actual poem that was written by Wislawa Szymborska — I hope you find it as beautiful and wonderful as I do:
In Praise of Dreams
In my dreams
I paint like Vermeer van Delft.
I speak fluent Greek
and not only with the living.
I drive a car
which obeys me.
I am talented,
I write long, great poems.
I hear voices
no less than the major saints.
You would be amazed
at my virtuosity on the piano.
I float through the air as is proper,
that is, all by myself.
Falling from the roof
I can softly land on green grass.
I don’t find it hard
to breathe under water.
I can’t complain:
I’ve succeeded in discovering Atlantis.
I’m delighted that just before dying
I always manage to wake.
Right after the outbreak of war
I turn over on my favorite side.
I am but I need not
be a child of my time.
A few years ago
I saw two suns.
And the day before yesterday a penguin.
With the utmost clarity.
– Wislawa Szymborska
YOUR TURN NOW: What stanzas or additions would you add to this wonderful poem? Please share them with us.