Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever

There are some days and weeks when I wonder why I am an English major. I usually wonder this when am forced to analyze something I hate and write paper after paper for that class. Those are hard days.

And then there are classes that make it all worth it. These classes make the bad days disappear and I realize, "Yes. Yes! This is why I'm an English major!" 

My later British literature class with Professor Steve Walker is one of these classes. One of these amazing, inspiring, life-changing classes that make me rejoice in the beauty of language, ideas, and literature. It's a class that I'm excited to go to every day. It could be at eight o' clock and I'd still be excited to go to it. 


The discussions Professor Walker conducts are incredible. I learn so much from him and from my fellow classmates. And I hope they're learning from me. I love how Professor Walker's words of advice: 

"I'm a dreamer," he says. "True love and high adventure. I say go for it." 

My roommates can attest to how much I love this class. I come home every day and just gush about how interesting and inspiring the ideas we discussed were. 

Like our discussion on Keats's "To Autumn." We talked about the movement in the poem, and how it moves from life to death, company to solitude, light to dark . . . but that the tone is not melancholy, because it talks about fulfillment. Autumn is a time of harvest and commencement. Yes, life is ending, but there is a story to be told. There is so much beauty to be found in a life well-lived.

Or our discussions and questions in Keats's "Ode on a Grecian Urn": How important is anticipation? Is the first kiss really the best kiss? Is the anticipation of the first kiss even better? How do we find joy in life knowing that, more often than not, our expectations will fall short of reality? How big should we dream? 

Or when we discussed Wordsworth's "We Are Seven" and talked about loss . . . and what is gained in loss. 

I don't know how well I'm expressing myself . . . but I hope that you at least get a taste of why I love this class so much. 

The questions of literature really do address the fundamental questions of life. They don't always have the answers, but they ask the questions so I can answer them myself. 

Literature helps me to live deliberately.  

1 comment:

  1. Love this. I do the same thing with my roommates. I love words, but I love the ideas even more than the words. :) There is something exquisitely beautiful about the expression of the human soul in written form.