…lest I wither in despair” Alfred Lord Tennyson
Tennyson had a difficult and mostly unhappy life. It was only after being informed by doctors that his recurrent trances were no epilepsy, but an ‘aura’ that preceded attacks of gout, that he was able to marry and have children. (Epilepsy and mental illnesses ran throughout his family).
I’m a product of an old-fashioned education, who was exposed to Tennyson, Shakespeare, and other Dead White Men. And, I’m very grateful for that opportunity.
Back in the day (a phrase repeated by many of the elders of the Black communities my students lived in), teachers regularly assigned poetry that was considered to be important to the cultural history:
- The Charge of the Light Brigade
- The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner
- Shakespeare’s Sonnets
- American poets – Emma Lazarus, Robert Frost, Carl Sandburg, and others
We were expected to memorize lines of poetry, and be able to recite them aloud.
As a result, lines will rise up from those long-buried memories, making a connection between current events and lessons from the past.
What poetry will our grandchildren remember?
Yo, B—-, S— dis N—– C—!
What we allow to fill our children’s heads will determine their future. THAT is a major reason why I continue writing and fighting to wrest America from its headline rush into savagery.
Most of us do not live in monasteries, nor in isolated cabins. We are right in the thick of a culture that is rapidly, and deliberately, being destroyed. Perhaps we should create USBs that can be preloaded with the electronic equivalent of graded readers. Age-appropriate literature, poetry, and essays, both for cultural knowledge, and moral and civic instruction. Pass them on to families needing alternatives to Woke literature.
What books or works would you recommend (and, identify the age level that you think appropriate – Early childhood, 8-12, 13-15, 16+)? Put the lists in the comments, I will start a recommended group of lists, and, eventually, set up a downloadable set of zip files.