Summer – a time for catching up, relaxing, exploring, starting new projects, or perhaps completing work in progress.  Reading, of course, is key in all of these.  With this in mind, we asked some faculty members at St. John’s about books that have influenced them personally or professionally. 

Dr. Robert Forman, a professor of English and Classics and Director of the university’s Honors Program , writes:

For the past several years, James Gibson’s edition of the Complete Poems of Thomas Hardy has become serious entertainment for me.  Curiously, in adolescence and during college, I read what made Hardy famous: his novels, one or two each year until I had read the lot.  Having reached senescence and remembering the novels fondly, Hardy’s poems have come to mean so much more.  They deal with youth, love, loss, the passing of time, and more significantly the desire to believe but the difficulty of belief.  They produce a curiously mimetic effect upon me; were I able to write real poetry, this is what I would want to write.