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To Read Or Not To Read

If you stopped to ask someone today, to name at least ten British poets/writers from the last hundred years, what percentage would be able to reel them off? Would they be able to tell you the five Romanic poets of the 18th Century? Can you? If asked to name famous books or characters one would generally find that much easier, as the classics have remained just that.

Is it a reflection of the changes in education or the fast pace, throw away society that we all now lodge? Writing a letter and reading a book has been largely replaced with abbreviated text messaging, computer gaming, DVDís and bland television, yet these all lack the comfort and satisfaction we get from curling up with a good book and escaping into an imaginary world.

Although some 60,000 books are published each year in English, it is still the classics that we hold dear with characters like Alice in Wonderland, Frankenstein, Sherlock Holmes, Jane Eyre and Mr Pickwick.. Their man-made worlds captivate us as they spring to life from the printed pages, just as their writers intended them to do.

What of the writers themselves that have made such an insurmountable impact on the English language? So often tragedies in their lives are mirrored in their writings and often lives were cruelly snatched away through illness such as that of the brilliant poet Keats. He died of tuberculosis at just twenty-five having nursed his mother and his brother Tom with the same disease.

It has often been said that those that have known real suffering have the greatest incite in whatever artistic discipline they choose to express themselves. Joseph Conrad (Jozef Korzeniowski) for instance, left his Native Poland to become a merchant seaman. He was shipwrecked and attempted suicide before coming to England. He suffered illness and poverty for most of his life.

Does human suffering drive the pen to create monumental Masterpieces? We cannot deny that we no longer in the western world know huge poverty and scientific advancement has ensured that many diseases have been eradicated and even depression, can also now be controlled sufficiently- Perhaps then this is so.

So I conclude that whilst we seek for greater thrills as humans, strive to improve our technology and push the boundaries of decency with Internet porn and a decline of programming on television, we still have an innate need to experience something beautiful, untainted and pure. Poetry and good literature gives us what is so lacking in our modern world, it is a safe haven and speaks to us of innocence, is unadulterated and us such, ensures itsí own survival through greatness and necessity

Submitted by:

Jo Redding

JO Redding runs a business creating beautiful poems, written on parchment, decorated and delivered in a scroll tube to family, friends and lovers- a wonderful and unique keepsake they will love and treasure. Visit http://www.poems-by-post.com for more information!




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