There is no Frigate Like a Book
by Emily Dickinson
“If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can warm me I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. These are the only ways I know it. Is there any other way?”
— Emily Dickinson
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 the Human Soul –
Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) is one of the greatest and most original American poets, whose verse has provided generations with the short lines of slant rhyme that tease the reader out of thought, while proffering sharp-eyed observations of nature, mortality, religion, love, and the deepest of human longings.
Since 1992, “The Nation’s Report Card” has informed us that barely a third of the country’s school age children are becoming proficient readers. For nearly 30 years, policy makers have responded to these discouraging findings with a handful of solutions—namely, more explicit standards and assessments, along with various teaching techniques.
Seminar discussion, the classroom model most Great Books and Socratic practitioners aspire to, is highly under-informed.
About Virtue Magazine
Virtue is the flagship publication of the Institute for Classical Education. It disseminates stories, ideas, research and experiences in classical education to readers across the nation, helping them pursue the classical ideals of truth, goodness, and beauty.