01 October 2016

A LIGHT TOUCH, PLEASE

I was reminded today that one of my most important tasks as a teacher of literature is to exert only a light touch. A light touch, even when I am 2/3 of the way through A Tale of Two Cities in my AP Lit classes and it is so tempting to show them every single stroke of genius on one page of Dickens' masterpiece. How do I forget my own rule that every time a reader picks up a book and begins to read, a new conversation has begun between reader and writer and IT IS SACRED? My opinion does not matter then, only the reader's.

So thank you , R. Joseph Rodriguez,   for this poem as I plan next week's conversation about Sydney Carton and Charles Darnay.

“After English Class”         
by Jean Little (born 1932)
I used to like “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.”
I liked the coming darkness,
The jingle of harness bells, breaking—and adding to—the stillness,
The gentle drift of snow . . .
But today, the teacher told us what everything stood for.
The woods, the horse the miles to go, the sleep—
They all have “hidden meanings.”
It’s grown so complicated now that,
Next time I drive by,
I don’t think I’ll bother to stop.         

 

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