Hard work! What is it?

Warning – irony and a brush of humour may be present in this piece, as it is in many a piece of literature, ancient and modern 🙂

Whilst hard work is certainly not a literary genre, we can certainly still look to literature and to history for examples of what it entails.

Perhaps in today’s world we have lost the essence of it in some contexts. With many aspects of life having become industrialised or replaced with technological, as opposed to manual, methods, one could argue that the definition of a good dose of elbow grease may have been forgotten.

Nevertheless, I do believe that one can strike an effective balance between using technology and not depending on it.

Studying English literature, or literature in any other language, for that matter, can serve to remind us of what the bear bones of life and success come down to – a simple but effective combination of studying and hard work. There is simply no way to avoid either, as much as we perhaps might like to sometimes.

Seamus Heaney’s celebrated poem, Digging, is the perfect example of the day to day grind that diligence, determination and persistence involves. You can find it here if you wish to read it.

An example of a collection of poems from Classical literature which I believe illustrate the above brilliantly is Virgil’s Georgics. I have often found that agriculturally orientated civilisations have learnt the essence of what the Romans called ‘labor‘ – work.

Do you have any favourite poets or writers whom you feel convey the above messages?

If so, I would love to hear who they are.

Natasha

What is hard work and what can learn about it from literature?

Here are my thoughts along with some reading recommendations for you too.

Copyright © Natasha Poole 2022

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