Speak, Memory – Philip Davis at Swindon Festival of Literature

17 May
Philip Davis

Philip Davis the writer of Reading and the Reader ©Calyx Pictures

I was immersed in words, in the idea of literature, in the excitement of reading, in the prospect of discovery, I was at The Arts Centre. Philip Davis was enthusiastically proposing literature as a way of exploring yourself, accepting it as a form of mental travel. Here is part of the journey he took us on. Please read the following poem aloud –


The Road Not Taken


Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Reflect for a while on the poem.
Does it pose any questions you can/can’t answer?
Which is the road for you?
Did you dislike reading the poem aloud?
Did you love reading the poem aloud?
Did you like being allowed?
The Reader Organisation use literature in non-traditional locations (prisons, mental health settings, dementia settings) with stunningly positive results, just by reading great literature aloud and what we can discover from doing that.I won’t add any more to this idea or presentation, explore literature and amaze yourself every day, amazement is guaranteed.

Philip Davis was at Swindon Arts Centre 13 May, with his book ‘Reading and the Reader’.
Words by Michael Scott. Photo by Calyx Pictures.


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