Thursday, 23 February 2012

What the Dickens?

When I was a child, my Grandfather had an impressive collection of Charles Dickens' novels. Bound in Morocco leather with gold lettering, we were not allowed to touch them. Naturally, the second he was out of the room, we did, and I remember the misery of being caught and not knowing what was going to happen to Little Nell in the Old Curiosity Shop.

I mention this because we, at Brandon Learning Centre, have just done a series of classes based on Oliver Twist. It is incredible how fresh the human emotion is after almost 200 years and how relelvant the social commentary is to today's society.

Dickens can be daunting but it is worth bearing in mind that he wrote his novels as chapters and reading each one and then pausing is an excellent way to prolong the excitement. Read the chapters outloud, preferably around a roaring fire and feel the characters come to life!

">To hear me reading an extract from Oliver Twist (simplified)

">The real thing - a wonderful site for all Dickens' works

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Poppy - In Remembrance

The Reassurance - Thom Gunn

About ten days or so
After we saw you dead
You came back in a dream.
I'm all right now you said.

And it was you, although
You were fleshed out again:
You hugged us all round then,
And gave your welcoming beam.

How like you to be kind,
Seeking to reassure.
And, yes, how like my mind
To make itself secure.