Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

What you have here is an old guy. In education for 30 years, started teaching elementary, ended as library and media director of community college. I've enjoyed mountain climbing, sports car rallying, was pipe major of a bagpipe band, played guitar and sang during the folk revival, walking and hiking later in life. Now fairly sedentary. Enjoy reading, esp. mysteries and fantasy, but my reading is pretty eclectic. Enjoy movies, giving Netflix a workout.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Horatius at the Bridge Reprise

Some time back I wrote a blog about Horatius at the Bridge and memorizing poetry. I baldly stated that no one seems to require it any more. I received a splendid reply from one Sean Burke who teaches at Silver Tree Steiner School in Parkerville, Western Australia. Parkerville is a suburb of Perth. When he wrote he said that he was having his students memorize Horatius. Aha, I thought, there is someone out there having their students memorize poetry. I also was amazed that he had found my blog. Now I had three readers. Apparently the Steiner Schools are private schools with a mission of nurturing creativity. You can read about this school at Very interesting things going on there.

To my gratification I received another e-mail from Sean the other day. Not only had his students memorized Horatius but they had performed it as a play. The poem, by Thomas Babbington Macaulay, relates how Horatius Cocles, a Roman, defended the bridge across the Tiber from the attacking Etruscans. Apparently there were two performances by the cast of eight boys and four girls. Sean attached the program and a photo of the cast. All were in costume. It must have been fun to see this performance.

I profess my profound admiration for Sean for encouraging this activity and I congratulate the boys and girls of the cast. I wish I had been there.


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