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February’s Stories and Poem

Written by Rachael Norris, 3rd February 2022

February may be the shortest month but there’s plenty in our latest selection of Stories and Poems to keep you going, with texts to suit the wintry weather, ones to herald new possibilities – while a sense of the year being new is still in the air – and some that touch upon matters of the heart.

This month’s prose pieces take a look at a range of different relationships, which span right from newly-made acquaintances at the beginning of life to older romantic flames rekindling. There’s lots to touch upon in these pieces, including how the actions we have taken in the past impact us in the present, how we might navigate worlds that are different from our own, as well as what we might do when life provides us with unexpected challenges – both emotional and physical.

February’s stories and extracts are:

Dickon (extract from The Secret Garden) by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Too much in their world (extract from ‘Mrs. Sen’s’) by Jhumpa Lahiri

To Build a Fire by Jack London

Hate and Love (extract from The Third Life of Grange Copeland) by Alice Walker

A Visit to an Old Bachelor (extract from Cranford) by Elizabeth Gaskell 

We continue to look at the different sides of love in the poetry selections, as we think about the ways in which love might grow and also break down. There’s also the idea of more general kinds of change in life – many of us may feel that we are at the beginning of something new, or beginning something old again, as life continues to shift with and around us. While winter might feel like it is going on longer than we would like it to, we’re reminded that there are things to enjoy and look forward to, which hopefully bring a sense of wonder and excitement for spring closer.

‘Love’s Growth’ by John Donne

‘Donal Og’ by Lady Augusta Gregory (translated from Anon, 8th century Irish ballad)

‘The Present’ by Simon Armitage

‘For a New Beginning’ by John O’Donohue

‘Saint Francis and the Sow’ by Galway Kinnell

If you're a Reader Leader, head to the Online Community Hub to download this month's selection.

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