Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Speaking of Dead Poet's Society, it's been 12 years since I've last stepped into my eleventh grade English class. I don't remember much of Beowulf, Chaucer or Shakespeare but I can still recite a Keats poem. My English teacher adored this poet so much he traveled to Italy just to get lost searching through the entire cemetery for this man's tombstone. If my teacher had to die a tragic death, he hoped it would be just like Percy Bysshe Shelley's: body washed upon the shore with an open volume of Keats's poetry, stuck in his pocket. It were these stories that I remembered most... stories that came alive with personality, character and humor -- all in the form of a narrative which was illuminating, engaging, and memorable.

I can't deny the emotional impact my English teacher had on not only my love for Romantic Era Poetry but for life itself. All his lessons engaged us. We never questioned it; he had heart. He, to our junior year class, embodied leadership in action. All of us agreed we'd do anything for him. I realize now you can only inherit that kind of passion through a true and real connection, something stories have the keen ability to do. And with that, true leaders use storytelling to cut right to the heart of the matter... so much more than any textbook can do.

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