“Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic”
Albus Dumbledore, Former Hogwarts Headmaster
Ok, it is of course true that we should study some of the great works of literature, but sometimes we get so caught up with this that we forget what English is really for.
It’s about communication.
Communication of our thoughts, feelings and desires. Of the complex, intangible, fleeting ideas in our minds that, with effort, we can set down in black and white and share with others.
It’s about joy.
The joy of discovering a new author. The joy of reading a poem that forever changes how we see the world. The joy of staying up past bedtime to read by torchlight under the covers.
It’s about expression.
It’s being able to say what you want to say clearly and with calm confidence. It’s reaching into the deep pool of emotions swirling within us and describing what we find beneath the surface.
English is more than the hours spent hearing about the iambic pentameter in Romeo and Juliet, and even Shakespeare himself would agree.
Yes we need to know the details, but let’s never lose sight of why they matter.