We are wrapping up our utopia unit and I was thinking of Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451”, which I used to teach but gave up in favor of Lois Lowry’s “The Giver”. I think I’m going back, which is another story (I encourage anyone who is teaching dystopia to take a look at the old Bradbury text, as it seems more relevant than ever, what with social media and flat screen televisions and all).
Re-reading Bradbury, I remembered an interview he gave a few years ago where he mentioned how “The Martian Chronicles” was the story of immigrants and conquest. I thought it was a sci-fi story of no real politic, as I have only vague memories of it being a big deal when I was in seventh grade and it was made into a mini-series that created some buzz (I didn’t like genre fiction in junior high, and science fiction seemed geeky, even as I thought 24/7 about Star Wars; movies were different). Going to my local library, I found a copy salvaged from a classroom set that had a spine that cracked when I opened it. Having read “Fahrenheit 451” and “Something Wicked This Way Comes” I found “Martian Chronicles” quite different–an odd mix of humor and fantasy and truth.
Long story short, one character recites this Byron poem. I like it. Here it is. It’s a good, basic lyrical poem that students can argue of what the heck it means. Have fun.
We’ll go no more a-roving
George Gordon Byron, Lord Byron
SO, we’ll go no more a-roving
So late into the night,
Though the heart be still as loving,
And the moon be still as bright.
For the sword outwears its sheath,
And the soul wears out the breast,
And the heart must pause to breathe,
And love itself have rest.
Though the night was made for loving,
And the day returns too soon,
Yet we’ll go no more a-roving
By the light of the moon.