This post is for all those great fathers who never lost sight of the young men or women their children could become.
Here’s a story from the past – some of the experiences will sound familiar:
“Several of my uncles and aunts had tried to teach me to read, and because they could not, and because I was much older than children who read easily, had come to think, as I have learnt since, That I had not all my faculties… I remember nothing that I read, but only those things that I heard of or saw.”
“My thoughts were a great excitement, when I tried to do anything with them, it was like trying to pack a balloon into a shed in a high wind. I was always near the bottom of my class and always making excuses…
Sometimes we had essays to write…I never got a prize, for the essays were judged by handwriting and spelling.”
With such an inauspicious start, many might be surprised that this person not only chose a career in writing, but he also is now known as one of the greatest poets of the 20th century.
Who is this? This is William Butler Yeats, Nobel Laureate in Literature.
So how is it that though he was often a struggling writer at the bottom of his class, he would still love to write and choose it as a full-time vocation?
He had a dad who cared and saw what his son would become:
“My Father read out poetry for the first time when I was eight or nine years old. Between Sligo and Rosses Point there is a tongue of land covered with coarse grass that runs out into the sea or the mud according to the state of the tide. It is the place where dead horses are buried. Sitting there, my father read me the Lays of Ancient Rome. It was the first poetry that moved me.”
If you don’t know the Lays of Ancient Rome, it’s magnificent, but also best to know the back story. Horatius famously defended a bridge preventing Etruscan Lars Porsena from sacking Rome.