Thoughtful Thursday: The Pleasures of Reading

Earlier this week the American Academy of Pediatrics announced a policy recommending that pediatricians tell parents to read aloud to their infants from birth. In support of this new policy, today’s Thoughtful Thursday celebrates the pleasures of reading. Hope these poems inspire you to read with your sons (whatever their age). Enjoy.

There is no Frigate like a Book

There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry –
This Traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of Toll –
How frugal is the Chariot
That bears the Human Soul –

Emily Dickinson

Notes on the Art of Poetry

I could never have dreamt that there were such goings-on
in the world between the covers of books,
such sandstorms and ice blasts of words,,,
such staggering peace, such enormous laughter,
such and so many blinding bright lights,, ,
splashing all over the pages
in a million bits and pieces
all of which were words, words, words,
and each of which were alive forever
in its own delight and glory and oddity and light.

Dylan Thomas

Good Books

Good books are friendly things to own.
If you are busy they will wait.
They will not call you on the phone
Or wake you if the hour is late.
They stand together row by row,
Upon the low shelf or the high.
But if you’re lonesome this you know:
You have a friend or two nearby.

The fellowship of books is real.
They’re never noisy when you’re still.
They won’t disturb you at your meal.
They’ll comfort you when you are ill.
The lonesome hours they’ll always share.
When slighted they will not complain.
And though for them you’ve ceased to care
Your constant friends they’ll still remain.

Good books your faults will never see
Or tell about them round the town.
If you would have their company
You merely have to take them down.
They’ll help you pass the time away,
They’ll counsel give if that you need.
He has true friends for night and day
Who has a few good books to read.


Edgar Guest


Beware: Do Not Read This Poem

tonite, thriller was
about an old woman, so vain she
surrounded herself with
many mirrors
it got so bad that finally she
locked herself indoors & her
whole life became the
mirrors
one day the villagers broke
into her house, but she was too
swift for them. she disappeared
into a mirror
each tenant who bought the house
after that, lost a loved one to
the old woman in the mirror:
first a little girl
then a young woman
then the young woman’s husband
the hunger of this poem is legendary
it has taken in many victims
back off from this poem
it has drawn in your feet
back off from this poem
it has drawn in your legs

back off from thias poem
it is a greedy mirror
you are into this poem. from
the waist down
nobody can hear you can they?
this poem has had you up to here
belch
this poem aint got no manners
you cant call out from this poem
relax now & go with this poem
move & roll on to this poem
do not resist this poem
this poem has your eyes
this poem has his head
this poem has his arms
this poem has his fingers
this poem has his fingertips

this poem is the reader & the
reader the poem

statistic: the US bureau of missing persons re-
ports that in 1968 over 100,000 people
disappeared leaving no solid clues
nor trace only
a space in the lives of their friends

Ishmael Reed

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