I studied my favorite poem when I was in class ten, back then it was not my favorite. Not because I didn’t like it or didn’t understand it but because there were not many poems I read or took interest in. But still there was something about the poem, few lines imprinted in my memory.
‘ How dull it is to make a pause, to make an end, to rust unburnish’d, not to shine in use’ ,
‘To follow knowledge like a sinking star, beyond the utmost reach of human thought’.
May be it was because of the stylish way in which my teacher read the poem to us or may be because it was my teacher’s favorite poem, so that’s why the interest in teaching the poem came to him so naturally. And later on when I had to teach the same poem to my class 12 students I was excited with a nostalgic atmosphere surrounding me in the class. I tried to replicate the lesson like I experienced it ten years a go but my memory failed me and I knew I was too ambitious. But when I took the poem as a poem which I was most familiar with, things started falling into their place. I studied the poem again as I now had to teach it to my students and I wanted my students to enjoy it like I did as a student.
For me no poem is as inspiring as or as beautiful as Ulysses. Of course there are many beautiful poems, some of my favorites being Elegy written in a Country churchyard, Ode to Autumn, Birches, and many more but I love Ulysses because of Ulysses always roaming with a hungry heart. His hunger for knowledge and the way Tennyson puts it beautifully in powerful verses is very connected with my profession. Teaching is one profession where you have to follow knowledge like a sinking star, where every experience should serve you well and the untraveled world will gleam to attract you and inspire you to continue further on your journey.
So,I want to say these words every morning before I begin my day;
‘’I am a part of all that I have met,
Yet all experience is an arch where thro’
Gleams that untraveled world whose margin fades
For ever and for ever when I move.
How dull it is to make a pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnish’d, not to shine in use!’’