Sunday, 22 February 2009

Cultural literacy

My father came back from church this morning delighted because of two things, one he had been able to greet some acquaintances from nearly 50 years ago by name, two he had been able to share an AAMilne poem with another adult.
The first was made easy because someone said, "Did you know so-and-so is here?" The second is much less easy. The first made the other person feel good, the second made both people feel good. There is a certain thrill in coming together through a poem, in both being able to remember something just for the sheer pleasure of remembering it.
Do children get poetry to memorise now? What sort of poetry do they get? I have seen some of it and it is verse rather than poetry. Some of it is most certainly fun but it does not capture the imagination of the soul. It is not evocative.

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