Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Experiencing the World Through Great Literature

With The Well-Educated Mind as my guide, I have roughed the mighty Atlantic Ocean, ridden horses through picturesque Spain, travelled in trains across icy Russia, and sailed smoothly down the Mississippi River without ever leaving my home; therefore, when I read this poem to my children yesterday, I knew it instantly.

How true it is, especially given that it was written by a woman who knew well how to use her imagination to experience the world around her.  Now, I am not advocating replacing true experience with reading, but rather stating that when you read through great literature you cannot help but experience the world.


There is no frigate like a book
            To take us lands away,

Nor any coursers like a page
            Of prancing poetry.

This traverse may the poorest take
            Without oppress of toll;

How frugal is the chariot
            That bears a human soul!


Emily Dickinson, American Poet


  1. Love this! One of my favorite poems. The images fit so nicely. We HAVE been to a lot of places this past year haven't we?! :)

    Looking forward to many more journeys -- on and off the page!

  2. Thank you, Adrianna. It would be fun to keep a list of all the places we've read about.

    And you, yourself, shall visit unknown worlds in Gulliver's Travels.