I'm told that applications are starting to come in for the summer 2012 Frost Place Conference on Poetry and Teaching. This makes me happy, and I hope that some of those applicants are you. Last night, while lying in bed reading Richard Holmes's biography of Shelley, I came across a reference to a man named George Ensor, who in 1811 published a book titled On National Education. "Argu[ing] that literature, and poetry in particular, had an instructive and social function," Ensor wrote: "Poetry seems to me the most powerful means of instructing youth." I believe I will spend some time today trying to track down this book.
Monday, February 13, 2012
Monday morning, and no one in this house has the flu. All the alarm clocks functioned according to their pre-set instructions. True, we did run out of hot water for showers and lettuce for sandwiches. The dryer does seem to be sluggish, and the dog does seem to have an ear infection. But no boy yelled at any other boy, even when one of the boys was responsible for using up all of the hot water and the other boy ate all of the leftover tomato soup for breakfast. (You may be surprised to hear how much teenage boys love homemade cream of tomato soup, though I'm sure their predilection for dozing in the shower will not amaze you. They also seem to enjoy squashing up under a couch blanket with their mother and chortling over grainy episodes of The Lone Ranger. Strange but true.)