Why We Read
Hi guys! I’m Abby, poetry co-editor, and I’m excited to be writing for the Opus blog again!
I’ve recently been reminded of a very important aspect of why I read. Yesterday I was babysitting and snuck the kids into bed early, grabbed Tennyson’s “In Memoriam”, and settled into an over-stuffed chair. Within a few stanzas, I was struck by how he perfectly captures what it’s like to have someone very close to you die. The poem comforted me in an odd way—kind of like listening to your favorite sad song. He wrote the poem over a period of 17 years as he grappled to understand death and loss.
Today I was reading Catcher in the Rye for banned books class and came across this quote that directly explained how I felt toward Tennyson’s work. Holden’s English teacher (who is actually a huge creep but whatever) says this about why Holden ought to read:
Among other things, you’ll find that you’re not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior. You’re by no means alone on that score, you’ll be excited and stimulated to know. Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. You’ll learn from them—if you want to. Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It’s a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn’t education. It’s history. It’s poetry.
I know that was a bit long, but I think it’s worth reading and considering. One reason people love to read is that they find their thoughts are not obscure or unrelatable. It’s amazing how people hundreds, even thousands of years ago struggle with the same big questions we do today.
On a lighter note, I stumbled across these seriously awesome redone classics:
If Oscar Wilde had written this in 2015…
“What’s wrong Raven?” “oh, nothing…”
The kid from this book always drove me crazy anyway.
Have a lovely Easter! I hope it’s filled with family, food, and fellowship–oh and candy.
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