Friday, November 12, 2010

Poetry Friday

This being my first foray into Poetry Friday, I thought I'd figure out what my goals are here. For Poetry Friday, not for the blog. That's another post.

I know the importance of poetry, especially in a child's education. (I talk a little about beauty below; what I mention about home is also true of the mind.) At different times I have gone on a little binge of poetry reading with the kids; occasionally we do some memorization. I'm certainly one of those who don't read poetry enough--how am I going to feed it to my children's hearts when mine is a bit deficient? The first couple of entries will be more for me than for the children. My oldest daughter (who is reading the Odyssey) will no doubt want to read them, and then contribute her own selection every now and then. I have a feeling some of the others will follow suit. Perhaps I can instill the good habit of reading poetry to all my children each week--a mini-Poetry Friday in our homeschool room.

My hope is to get them looking for poetry more.


It feels like a bit of a cheat to pick just a selection from an epic poem for Poetry Friday, but that's what I'm doing. I haven't read Endymion; I never even saw the famous first line in context before this week. But I have been pondering the importance of beauty, and this first part of Keats' poem has had me thinking all week.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o'er-darkened ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits.

I sought this poem out because I have been moved to create more beauty in my home, and I wanted to inspire my intellect to help shore up my will. I have learned that cultivating an appreciation for beauty is an important part of a person's spiritual formation. Also, as a homemaker it is one of my privileges and duties to make home a sanctuary for my family. I use the word "homemaker" with some chagrin; it is too often that the task of making things pleasant and welcoming plays second fiddle to the more urgent task of getting things done. Even if they are necessary things. And even if I don't do a very good job even of that. Perhaps my own mindset could be nurtured in an environment of greater beauty? And it turns out Keats even has something to say about the hopes of diligence and productivity.
O may no wintry season, bare and hoary,
See it half finished: but let Autumn bold,
With universal tinge of sober gold,
Be all about me when I make an end!

Today's poems are at Scrub-a-Dub-Tub.


Anonymous said...

A perfect inaugural selection. I'm an English major, and I can't say that I remember this poem in its full context. Welcome to Poetry Friday!

Carlie said...

What lovely slices of Keats! I have to read his stuff in full. Too inspiring!

I also like your ideas about working more poetry into your homeschool. I need more in ours too.

Hannah said...

Love this post! I too am making more of an effort to include poetry in our homeschooling and to not get so bogged down in home maintenance that I have no energy to bring in the grace notes.

Found you at Poetry Friday. :-)


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