Reading

It begins with a question:

what world to inhabit?

The dark, cobbled streets of London?

A Maine seaside town?

India or China?

Cuba or Puerto Rico?

Perhaps New York’s sultry summer blocks?

It is not simply

a glance at the shelf

or a browse

through The New York Times Book Review.

To read is to throw open the doors

on one’s quiet life,

and stride purposefully

into the fully realized world of others.

I shall never look at a reader

curled in a chair

in the same way.

For that person may be lost

in the jungle,

hiding in a London fallout shelter,

or cycling the quiet backroads of Vietnam.

The mind may linger

on a now still battlefield,

or pause to remember a sparkling gala.

For reading is a propellent,

launching the soul

across time and space.

5 thoughts on “Reading

  1. Leah McFarlane says:

    Your poem made me want to stop what I’m doing right now–to read. Brilliant!

    “To read is to throw open the doors

    on one’s quiet life,

    and stride purposefully

    into the fully realized world of others.”

    Like

  2. Wow, I hope you are sharing this with your students as a mentor text in both reading and writing! I admire your skillful stanzas! Especially the last stanza and the visual of the propellent. So powerful.

    Like

  3. I love this poem. It’s going to hang in my new classroom as soon as I print it out tomorrow. I love the ending: “propellent, launching the soul across time and space.” So glad March brings us together HERE and brings us together in our school buidling. #vaccinestrong

    Like

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