Monday, June 05, 2006

Shakespeare et al

So many people are shy about Shakespeare, Milton, and even modern poets. I attribute this to plain everyday (unfortunately it is everyday) poor teachers. Kids and even young people rather self-consciously make fun of the classics with an occasional “to be or not to be”. Many kids and young people also do not realize that their favorite movie and stage actors are accomplished actors of Shakespeare and GB Shaw, etc. The problem is that today’s teachers probably had rotten teachers. And as this progression continues generation after generation we, as a civilization, will lose appreciation for genuine talent. Lord knows there is little of that in our cultural world today. It has not disappeared, but it is rare and could approach extinction.

If you like poetry and know how to read it out loud, offer that talent to your local school. Read to high school kids. I know they will enjoy it because I had an English teacher who every day read us Romeo and Juliet, Chicago, The Congo (read that to a class today and they will think it is their kind of “rap” and love it). He varied from lusty for the boys to sentimental for the girls and stories and descriptives for all. He covered the gamut and each of us went away with favorites we never forgot. Some days they could hear him two classrooms away and some days it was a strain to hear his whisper. But, he gave poems meaning!

There endeth today’s exhortation. (I admit, the same could probably be said about the French horn, but I never had a teacher passionate about it.)

1 comment:

Archana said...

Ah, the joys of reading :-)! I am not a very big poetry buff - sometimes though, it is really, really nice to read some poetry (recently, though I have read it before, reading The road less travelled by Robert Frost, struck a big chord in me).