While I am keen to explore different genres, I always find myself returning to the Classics. What I like most about reading texts that belong in the past is how it makes me feel as if I were travelling through history, and experiencing the pains and joys that have long ceased to exist.
As Literary Senior, an aim of mine is to further cultivate the love for reading and literature across the School community. I would love to promote the reading of poetry for pleasure. We sometimes unequivocally associate poetry with the curriculum, which is a great understatement of the art form! Throughout the course of the year, we will be publishing regular blogs that will cover a range of exciting topics, from book recommendations to playwriting.
Having recently had the pleasure of taking on the role of Literary Senior, I thought it would be most fitting to pick a poem on the theme of reading for our inaugural blog entry.
This ballad by Dickinson is a celebration of literature through the narrative of a humble old man who attains lifelong fulfilment from reading books. As a voracious reader, he consumes ‘words’ as though they were food, by which ‘His spirit grew robust’. Books are a source of nourishment — food for the soul in the form of language.
Despite being poor and frail, he is revitalised by the habit of reading, granting him the strength to sanguinely ‘dance along the dingy days’. Reading isn’t only an invigorating activity that serves as a bottomless well of intellectual wealth, but it is also an effective means of catharsis that can take away the burden of all evils. Like a pair of ‘wings’, a good book has the magical ability to transport one from the cocoon of a chair to fictional realms enslaved by neither time nor space.
– Sophie, Upper Sixth