Sunday, December 19, 2010


"... sweet entranced
  After her wandering labours long."
-- John Milton, in "Comus"

It's probably fool-headed to think of anyone being "entranced" by my English class, but I must confess to daydreaming about that possibility when I read these lines this morning. My students do a great amount of scholarly "wandering" as they work their way through my lessons and assignments, and I take pleasure in innocently assuming that they occasionally slip into the type of trances great books can produce. I guess teenagers sometimes fall into trances related to television shows or songs or sports, and my fantasy dream is that they might become similarly mesmerized by the wisdom of Whitman or the musical sentences of Dickens. After trekking through pages of perplexing reading, I hope they sometimes see a shining light of understanding that sends them into the most pleasant kind of daze. I'm sure it doesn't happen often. English class is probably more humdrum than breathtaking, but maybe the students occasionally find themselves "sweet entranced" by something like adverbs or the sonnets of Shakespeare.

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