In February 2008, CPG, a fifth year student studying at EOI Goya, gave me a little present – The New York Times Magazine, the 15th of Jan issue, 2006, which is where I found this story. I didn’t know the author, and it’s been a pleasure reading it. I like the story because it includes childhood memories, dreams, a house in an open landscape, which I imagine very beautiful because it’s in Greece, and it also includes thoughts and feelings you get throughout your life, as you grow older. I hope this inspires you to write about your own childhood memories, so you can practice using the past tenses, including the modals! You could just write short 150-word pieces, and send them in for publication! (Check out the TP section Your Stuff!)
So, here it goes. Enjoy! And… Readthe story!
Welcome to the TP Podcast!
This time I’m going to read one of the most human poems ever written, a poem that can be understood even if we don’t share the same its author’s time space and culture. I’ll read Shakespeare’s “To be or not to be” in Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. Then I’ll tell you my pacifist version of the first five lines, which was what I declared when I was arrested after taking Direct Nonviolent Action (DNVA) at Greenham Common in 1990. (I have to add here that the Sergeant was quite enthusiastic about my statement. I was released about half an hour later!) Read “To be or not to be”. Here is the pacifist version, also in Spanish.
Here is the Talking People webpage devoted to Shakespeare, who we love!
If you’ve never thought about what the to be or not to be question is, I suggest you think about it now, and if you can, discuss it with more people – you will be surprised.
Thank you for listening and have a nice day!
I love this poem. It’s so mysterious, and so honest. I don’t know what it means. I just know it means something mysterious and daily and beautiful, plus totally human. Picture it as a post-it note on a fridge. Hope you enjoy it!
If you don’t know J.D. Salinger, listen to this story.
It’s a good way to start – it records a key moment in his life and to understand his work. If you already know him, and enjoy his literature, you’ll love this story. It’s lifelike – daily, undaily, warm and softly funny, very sweet, endlessly sad and tragic.
Check out the Talking People webpage for Salinger.