Thursday, February 26, 2015

O, it came o'er my ear like the sweet sound,
That breathes upon a bank of violets,
Stealing and giving odour.

A revision class on Twelfth Night & I write these lines up on the board.

Then, as if returning to elementary school, spell out the sounds - the modulation of 'o' through "o'er" to "ear" to "sound" & "upon" to be touched again in "violets" & return in "odour" set against the long 'e's working in "ear", "sweet", "breathes" & stealing". Imagine, I suggest, alternatives for "odour" - "scent", "perfume", "fragrance" ...? & why it just has to be "odour" given the expectations set up within the previous lines.

Looking across the room I catch the look in one student's eyes as though - suddenly - she gets it. The absolute co-existence of sound & sense. Thought embodied. A whole world of language suddenly opens & the realisation that - at moments like these - Shakespeare is ... well, The Man.

On occasions such as this you realise why you teach.

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