One short and meaningful poem I enjoy sharing with my students is “I’m Happiest When Most Away” by novelist Emily Brontë. The speaker in this poem enjoys taking time alone to disengage from the world and contemplate life. This poem can be interpreted in many ways– one of which is that peaceful, quiet contemplation can have a positive impact on one’s life. I would pair this poem with the Socrates conversation about critical thinking by having my students participate in an open-ended discussion about whether Brontë would agree with Socrates’ words. Readers can infer that the speaker’s life wouldn’t be worth living without this time for contemplation.
Level: Secondary English/Language Arts
Subject Area: American Literature
Author: Tiffany Heitman