Poetry About Books…Nothing Could Sound Sweeter

People have tried to ask me to write poetry before…None as persistent as one of my college writing professors. She did get me to write down a few. I’m not going to share those with you – you will thank me for that later – but I do remember reading a lot of beautiful poetry in that classroom.

Of course, the ones that stayed with the most are the ones about books and writing. So here are a few of my favorites:

There is no Frigate like a Book By Emily Dickinson

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!

I Opened a Book By Julia Donaldson

I opened a book and in I strode.
Now nobody can find me.
I’ve left my chair, my house, my road,
My town and my world behind me.

I’m wearing the cloak, I’ve slipped on the ring,
I’ve swallowed the magic potion.
I’ve fought with a dragon, dined with a king,
And dived in a bottomless ocean.

I opened a book and made some friends.
I shared their tears and laughter
And followed their road with its bumps and bends
To the happily ever after.

I finished my book and out I came.
The cloak can no longer hide me.
My chair and my house are just the same,
But I have a book inside me.

Good Books By Edgar Guest

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.

Partial submission by Louise Carson

I thought of mailing you a paper-clip
then thought again
for surely you must have some
in a similar small green tray
or palm-sized round jar (on its lid
a scene of camels, desert, sun)
or in a drawer, a chain
of collected shining metal wealth.

So I removed the strangely precious thing
and mailed these poems
in a brown envelope of pain.
When you receive them,
you can add your own.

As you can probably tell, because I’ve told you so, I didn’t write these. I just wanted to make that clear. I think there is something so beautiful about poetry that I will never be able to capture in prose. It’s a cross between a song and a story. I have a deep admiration for all poets. I feel that although we do not speak the same language, we might speak a similar one, and so if you need a friendly ear just give me a ring and say, “Jolly Good Day!” and I will say “Hello!” and we can be writing friends.

🙂 Yep, that’s as close to anything as “poetic language” as you’ll probably get from me. 

Are there any poets out there who wouldn’t mind sharing some of their favorite poetry?


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