Instead of trying to come up and pontificate on what literature is, you need to talk with children, to teachers, and make sure they get poetry in the curriculum early.
As individuals, we are shaped by story from the time of birth; we are formed by what we are told by our parents, our teachers, our intimates.
Teachers are not supposed to be repositories of information which they dish out. That is from an age when there were no other repositories of information, other than books or teachers, neither of which were portable. A lot of my big task is retraining these teachers.
I grew up in a bookless house – my parents didn’t read poetry, so if I hadn’t had the chance to experience it at school I’d never have experienced it. But I loved English, and I was very lucky in that I had inspirational English teachers, Miss Scriven and Mr. Walker, and they liked us to learn poems by heart, which I found I loved doing.
The best CEOs I know are teachers, and at the core of what they teach is strategy.
In other words, unlike some people with new theories, we will go out, we’ll go into a school and we get products and the products are evaluated, whether it’s by teachers or others. The scores are quantified and then we compare performances.
I feel friendship towards philosophers, but towards sophists, teachers of literature, or any other such kind of godforsaken people, I neither feel friendship now, nor may I ever do so in the future.
Neither, I must say with all due respect, is it the power of teachers and students. Basically the true and real power is with working people of all colors, of all beliefs, of all national origins.