Wednesday, March 10, 2004


I recently discovered to my horror that my 16 year old son had never even HEARD of such great English poets as Wordsworth and Coleridge. He is in his last year of high school but the only poets he has ever encountered are various indigenous poets and others who were selected on their political rather than their artistic merits. So yesterday evening I got out my old GRADE 6 school reading book (from the 1950s) and read him from it three old favourites of American, British and Australian poetry -- "Hiawatha's Hunting", "Sea Fever" and the "Song of Cape Leeuwin". He enjoyed all three -- particularly the non-Greenie ending of "Hiawatha". When I remarked to him that it looked like he had been deprived of his entire cultural heritage, he commented, quite rightly: "It's racism -- racism against the English". It looks like it's up to parents these days to introduce their kids to the great cultural heritage that schools now deliberately conceal. Perhaps that's not such a bad thing, in a way. It should help engender disrespect for the corruption that passes for compulsory education these days.


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