Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Power and Beauty

This is why I read to my kids:

He had seen a copy of the Iliad lying on the table. "You are reading this?" he asked.

"I have read it many times. Now I read it to my son."

"But he is too young!" The man protested, almost angry.

"Is he? Who is to say? How young is too young to begin to discover the power and the beauty of words? Perhaps he will not understand, but there is a clash of shields and a call of trumpets in those lines. One cannot begin too young nor linger too long with learning.

"Who knows how much he will remember? Who knows how deep the intellect? In some year yet unborn he may hear those words again, or read them, and find something hauntingly familiar, as of something long ago heard and only half remembered.

"Yet perhaps it is only that I like to hear those rolling cadences. People, I think, read too much to themselves; they should read aloud from time to time to hear the language, to feel the sounds..."

My father was a tall man, and now he stood up. "My friend," he said, "I do not know what else I shall leave my son, but if I have left him with a love of language , of literature, a taste of Homer, for the poets, the people who have told our story-and by 'our' I mean the story of mankind-then he will have legacy enough."

-Excerpt from my latest favorite book, The Lonesome Gods by Louis L'Amour

Amen, Louis, Amen!

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