Tag Archives: torch


A college course I enjoyed immensely was one devoted to the literature of G.B.S. This is how our professor referred to him in class as if he had been a a close friend. He shared many anecdotes about this author’s life and I must say he could cite and recite so much of his work by heart; it was quite impressive. So much so that it has been nearly 35 years since I took that class and I still have very vivid memories of it. 

My professor was someone you could not forget very easily either because he looked like Santa Claus. His hair was pure white and satiny and he chuckled wholeheartedly. He had a knack for teaching and made the class a joy to attend.

I thought about him today for no particular reason so I went to an old anthology I have kept for years. It had a few of G.B.S.plays. I thought about my Santa like professor and the lanky Dubliner and imagined them talking about  Mrs. Warren’s Profession. This is one of the plays we read in class.  I remember feeling a tad embarrassed when the professor first introduced the theme. When it was first published the play was actually banned in some places. But my teacher a playwright in his own right mesmerized us when he read from the text. 

It’s funny what comes back into your memory sometimes. I will leave you with a quote by G.B.S. I jotted down at Borders a few year ago. I miss Borders so much. Here it goes.

“Life is no brief candle for me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold for a moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.” G.B.S.

I am feeling that sentiment more and more as I grow older and think about my legacy. My professor certainly made that candle burn brightly. Thanks Prof. W. As we move into National Teacher’s Recognition  day I want to thank him and many more who held tightly to the candles they lit for my generation. Thank a teacher. He or she probably helped to build the person you are today. 

Have you guessed who G. B. S. is?

How did he spell fish?

He won a very noble prize for literature; what prize was that? 

                                                       Shaw, George Bernard [Credit: Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images]