My mother had a voracious appetite for books. She read all the time unless something like work required something else of her. For years I steered away from reading and books because I think in a way, I felt books robbed me of time with her.
She grew up working on the family farm. They all put in a lot of hours raising tobacco, feed corn and dairy cows. There are no days off for farmers. The day starts early and ends late. Sleep is a necessity. In the few evening hours, they all read. My mother was the youngest of six children and reading was often the only escape.
When we were kids, however, mom always read us poetry. Narrative poems were among her favorites and we loved hearing her read to us. Many of them were tragic tales. The words and the lyrical quality of writing is probably what made me fall in love with words.
Lines like these were hypnotic.
From “The Highwayman”
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas.
from “The Wreck of the Hesperus”
She struck where the white and fleecy waves
Looked soft as carded wool,
But the cruel rocks, they gored her side
Like the horns of an angry bull.
From “Annabel Lee”
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.
from “The Raven”
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
from “Paul Revere’s Ride”
Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead,
In their night-encampment on the hill,
Wrapped in silence so deep and still
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
One Liner Wednesday is sponsored each Wednesday by Linda Hill. It is an open invitation if you wish to join in.