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March’s Stories and Poems

Written by Lily Kehoe, 11th March 2024

March’s stories, extracts and poems have been chosen on the theme ‘Moving on’, which perhaps feels especially relevant as we begin to move out of the winter season and into spring, a time that many of us look forward to with its sense of renewal and growth. The changing seasons offer one way of moving on; in this month’s selections we explore other ways in which we, as living beings in the world, go forward in our journeys, weathering storms along the way.

Weathering the storm is a part of moving on in life, and so we turn to the Reader Bookshelf, before we move on to a new Bookshelf with a new theme for 2024-25 – more to come on that over the coming weeks. Staying with the current Bookshelf, this month we feature a story from Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri, excerpts from Poems to Live Your Life By and A Year With Rilke, and an extract from Small Island by Andrea Levy.

In this month’s stories and extracts, new opportunities present themselves to the characters we meet. In some cases, these are opportunities that have been longed for, but it does not mean that they come without uncertainties. Journeys can prove difficult for those who are both young and more experienced in life. While some try to move on in the midst of loss and heartbreak, others make plans for change alongside newly forming relationships. For others, something unexpected could well provide the catalyst for making a move through thoughts that are troubling.

March’s stories and extracts are:

The Third and Final Continent by Jhumpa Lahiri – from Interpreter of Maladies

The Falls by George Saunders

The Voyage by Katherine Mansfield

Meanwhile Spring had Come (extract from Anna Karenina) by Leo Tolstoy (translated by Richard Pevere and Larissa Volokhonsky

For England was my destiny (extract from Small Island) by Andrea Levy

Moving onto new places and experiences can prove exciting, but they can bring feelings of hesitancy, and sometimes fear, too. In March’s poetry selection we explore what it might feel like to be ‘on the borderline of doubt and hope’ as we look towards the future. We also take in what it feels like to look forward when the opportunities to do so seem unavailable, and how, sometimes, moving on might bring us back to the places we started from.

Be Not Afeard (extract from The Tempest) by William Shakespeare – from Poems to Live Your Life By

The First Spring Day by Christina Rossetti

The Expiration by John Donne

The Panther by Rainer Maria Rilke (translated by Joanna Macy and Anita Barrows)

Journey Home by Rabindranath Tagore


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

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