In "Reflections on Wallace Stevens," Randall Jarrell writes that "A good poet is someone who manages, in a lifetime of standing out in thunderstorms, to be struck by lightening five or six times; a dozen or two dozen times and he is great." Notice that the poet does not cause the discharge of energy, but persistently tries to puts herself/himself in the path of it. The poet prepares, then, for the gift, which comes powerfully beyond him or herself.
Jarrell's statement came back to me as I thought on the implications of an exchange with an energetic young girl.
On Monday my daughter, preparing for her 7th birthday party, created a gift bag out of two pieces of copy paper stapled together on three sides and decorated. She let me know that I could use this bag to put her present in after--I believe she said--I made
Charmed, inspired, and subtly compelled, I bought her a box of water colors and put it in the bag. She put the gift to use right away.
My daughter possibly defined for me, by this dynamic, what giftedness is.
Giftedness is the preparation to receive gifts.