Tuesday, July 17, 2012


     There are times in English class when whatever literature we're studying shouts to my students and me -- roars the real truth to all of us. A sentence in a short story, a line in a poem, the last wonderful word, even, in a long novel -- all these might never yell so loud as when they speak out to us in my standard and surely commonplace English class. I come to class with no special announcements, no flags flying, no beguiling acts of showmanship, but every so often the literature leaps out at us with all the dramatics we could desire. We might have plodded through some pages of Shakespeare when, with a strange shout, a single line might let itself loose on us. We might have studied a poem with scholarly constancy when, with a sudden roar, the whole thing throws itself at us with its total truth. Perhaps this also happens in my personal life. Can the significance of life itself raise its voice for me from a sunset at the beach? Does what the world is all about sometimes call out its message in the smile of a single friend?    

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