Teachers of Humanities and all high school English teachers rush home, pour yourself a cup of decaf green tea, add a drop of honey, and check out these amazing resources! Whether you decide to use them in lesson plans or just for your own personal enjoyment, enrichment and “soul-nourishment,” you will be glad to have stumbled across these lovingly created literary gems.
- The Milton Society. This is the home of fellow “Word Pressians” at the scholarly society dedicated to the study and dissemination of Milton’s works. I think an astute teacher might review the works in progress page as a resource, but also as an opportunity to discuss exactly what a literary scholar does. A review of some of the books, chapters, papers, could be used as a springboard for students to generate their own research ideas, and increase the quality of their own theses. I think in general, we see that students try to write too broadly. But also, as a discussion of how an artist or body of literature can impact a culture. I think the link section is most valuable, however, as it links directly to several additional resources (below.)
- The John Milton Reading Room. “Fly envious Time, till thou run out thy race.” You can spend a lot of time here in this Dartmouth College site. It features the complete poetry and a selection of Milton’s prose. A wonderful resource to be lost and/or regain’d.
- The Twickenham Press and The Lark Ascending. Kudos to The Twickenham Press for being the digital home to the dramatic readings of classic literature by now-defunct performance group, The Lark Ascending. This group performs not only the work of Milton, but Whitman, Eliot, Wordsworth, and others. It serves as a reminder that poetry must be heard, not just read! Excellent work.
Questions for Discussion
- How does a researcher decide on a topic to study?
- What impact did John Milton have on Western Literature?
- Brainstorm a list of potential Milton paper topics and fine tune these to thesis statements.
- Why is it essential to hear, not just read poetry?
- Read a little about the origins of the Twickenham Press. Who are some significant “self-published” authors?
- What was the mission of The Lark Ascending? Has your classroom had a poetry performance day lately?
- What else does this inspire you to”dream, learn, do?”