One of my father's favourite sayings.
I have been busy compiling and running off a hundred quiz papers for our local Nature Reserve. That coupled with buying the wrong ink cartridge for my computer has made me running late and rather frustrated. And I do want to watch 'Have I got News for You' in a quarter of an hour (one of my favourite programmes).
However, I do want to just say that Richard Morrison in today's Times says that very few folk under the age of 35 have ever heard of Thomas Gray and heard Gray's Elegy. My father could recite it from beginning to end, having learned it at school. And the fact that several famous writers chose lines from it as titles of their books (Far from the Madding Crowd for example) suggests that Gray was very much read until fairly recently.
I am not sure whether I learned about it at school or at my father's knee - I suspect the latter as he was a great reader and reciter of poetry. But Elegy is such a beautiful poem and such a picture of village life in those times and it does seem a shame that poems like that are no longer part of our heritage unless we happen to come from a family where poetry is deemed important.
In fact, when I think about it, is poetry important in schools at all these days? I understand that even Nursery Rhymes are discouraged in many schools now, whereas I was taught at Teacher Training College of their importance in the teaching of rhyming words. I suppose that unless a child is studying English Literature in General and Poetry in particular then no poetry will appear in the curriculum. Oh dear, that makes me despair of the way education is going. Everyone needs some poetry in their life.