I recently picked up two beautiful picture books about Helen Keller at the library for the boys.Annie and Helen by Deborah Hopkinson & Raul Colon has lovely illustrations and excerpts from Annie’s own letters. I love the addition of the black and white photos inside the front and back covers as well as the copy of Helen’s first letter home. Helen's Big World: The Life of Helen Keller by Doreen Rappaport also has lovely illustrations, but I am particularly fond of all the quotes of Helen’s own words. The following two specifically struck me.
[Speaking of the first word (water) “spoken” into her hand:]
“That living word awakened my soul, gave it light, hope, joy, and set it free.”
“I have the advantage of a mind trained to think, and that is the difference between myself and most people, not my blindness and their sight.”
They reminded me of an article I just read in the most recent The Classical Teacher magalog by Memoria Press. Cheryl Swope shares an excerpt from her new book Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child (soon available from Memoria Press). In the article, the author shares this quote by Helen Keller:
“When I read the finest passages of the Iliad, I am conscious of a soul-sense that lifts me above the narrow, cramping circumstances of my life. My physical limitations are forgotten—my world lies upward, the length and the breadth and the sweep of the heavens are mine!”
I just got the shivers.
And I can’t wait to dive into the Iliad with the boys next week!