But be contented when that fell arrest
Without all bail shall carry me away;
My life hath in this line some interest,
Which for memorial still with thee shall stay.
When thou reviewest this, thou dost review
The very part was consecrate to thee.
The earth can have but earth, which is his due;
My spirit is thine, the better part of me.
So then thou hast but lost the dregs of life,
The prey of worms, my body being dead,
The coward conquest of a wretch’s knife,
Too base of thee to be rememb’red.
The worth of that is that which it contains,
And that is this, and this with thee remains.
All of you in the book blogosphere likely heard of Ray Bradbury's passing this week. My students and I just finished reading and discussing Fahrenheit 451 and began Hamlet this past week as well.
Although we were, of course, saddened by the news that a giant of twentieth century fiction had departed the physical world, somehow the blow was much softened by the closely present memory of his novel. Surprising to me: all my students passionately took up his cause in favor of books. Not one questioned Bradbury's championing of knowledge via the written word. And this is not a group of people who would be shy of respectfully expressing their opinions, even if they contradicted "authority" (another theme in F451).
I thought that all of you who read this blog would be happy to know that Bradbury's legacy - in this one regard at least - lives on in the spirits of our young people, hungry for the world and for the written word.
RIP, Ray; long live Clarisse and Montag!
p.s. Yes, the poem's a lovely Shakespeare sonnet - not all that often trotted out among his most popular - that I thought apt for the occasion.