Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Laura Inman and “The Poetic World of Emily Bronte”

I attended an all-boys public high school. Sophomore English was a survey of world literature, “world” defined as British and American. Among a number of other works, we read Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar; and we read Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights. We had to pay for the paperback edition ordered by the teacher, and so you identify all sophomores at any given time by seeing what books they carried around, and whether Wuthering Heights with a purplish-blackish cover was there (this was in the days before backpacks).

It was mortifying. Imagine asking a 15-year-old boy how he’s enjoying Wuthering Heights.

Class discussions on the book – for a solid week – were painful. More than a few openly rebelled and wouldn’t read it at all. A few were smarter than that and at least bought the Cliff Notes version. A few struggled through it. To my knowledge, only one boy in the class liked it, but knew better than to tell anyone. The teacher, however, figured it out when she graded our essays. She made a point of extolling the virtues of this one particular essay, and even read selected passages.

I never forgave her.

To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.

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