Poet Principle of Education #3a

Offer specific disciplines to awaken the taste for beauty and elicit a response to it, such as:


--Literature: Dom Jean LeClercq explains that the monks put their students in contact with the best of writers so as to “develop their taste for the beautiful,” (The Love of Learning and the Desire for God, 119) the better to recognize it later in God.  All great literature can do this, in particular—

  • Poems, which are “the food of Faith” (John Senior, Idea of a School, unpublished manuscript, 44).
  • Fairy-tales and myths, which are especially adept at awakening desire: “something really ‘higher’ is occasionally glimpsed in mythology: divinity, the right to power (as distinct from its possession), the due worship; in fact ‘religion’” (J. R. R. Tolkien, “On Fairy-Stories,” in The Tolkien Reader, with an introduction by Peter S. Beagle (New York: Ballantine Books, 1966), 51).
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