Surprise

For the Mid-week motif on Poets United – Literacy

Surprise
“Our high respect for a well read person is praise enough for literature.” – T. S. Eliot

I can’t remember a time when I did not read.
There must have been a time
but it is faded like a torn out
discarded page of a magazine.
My teachers wanted me tested.
I was six and they felt I was retarded.
I always looked up with a blank stare
when it was my turn to read from Dick and Jane.
Imagine.
The test revealed I had an
eighth grade reading level
and that I read ahead of my classmates.
So much for being the class dummy
as my fellow students called me.
When I was 11 I whined to my grandmother
as she cooked us dinner:
I am hot. I am bored. Amuse me.
She left me to watch the food on the stove
and went to our library.
When she returned she handed me
the complete works of T. S. Eliot.
Amuse yourself.
And I did.
on the bedside table is always piled
at least five books in various stages of being read.
Including the old copy of T. S. Eliot –
always there. Always in a state of being read.

11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. susanstoo
    Sep 04, 2019 @ 15:47:56

    Wow! TS Eliot! But, of course, someone who could read that would have to be bored and a little uncooperative with Dick and jane. I, too, find TS (and other authors as well) always in the process of being read.

    Reply

  2. Sherry Marr
    Sep 04, 2019 @ 16:27:41

    I imagine Dick and Jane was boring, for such an advanced reader. Gifted students have a hard time in school, which is geared to average students. I read adult books too, quite young. No one noticed, or thought it was inappropriate, so I read whatever I could get my hands on. All the classics made me a confirmed romantic! But real life didnt measure up, lol.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Sep 04, 2019 @ 19:17:35

      I read any and every book I could get my hands on. I wasn’t much for romances but loved the other books – history, science, biography, poetry….life doesn’t measure up to romance but then, it’s a book? Right? 🙂

      Reply

  3. magicalmysticalteacher
    Sep 04, 2019 @ 18:41:52

    Anyone who doesn’t read, read, read as you do does not know what she or he is missing!

    Reply

  4. oldegg
    Sep 04, 2019 @ 21:10:50

    Lucky are those like us that have been brought up with books that have taken us to new worlds to have adventures while snuggled up in an armshair!

    Reply

  5. Sumana Roy
    Sep 05, 2019 @ 02:18:28

    Wow! That’s wonderful Toni! Thanks to my parents and grandparents who always gifted me books, specially on my birthdays.

    Reply

  6. kim881
    Sep 05, 2019 @ 05:01:29

    I identify closely with the opening lines, Toni, and refused to read books I found too easy and often inane; we had Janet and John, the equivalent of your Dick and Jane. My problem at school was my poor eyesight, which wasn’t detected until I was nine, by which time most of the teachers had written me off. As soon I got my glasses I blossomed. I too devoured poetry and fell in love with The Lord of The Rings trilogy and Thackeray’s The Rose and the Ring at the age of ten or eleven.

    Reply

  7. jaerose37
    Sep 05, 2019 @ 09:37:52

    What a wonderful celebration of the joys reading can bring

    Reply

  8. Vivian Zems
    Sep 05, 2019 @ 10:56:12

    This writing resonated with me on every level. I tend to read three or four books at the same time-such voracious reader as we are!

    Reply

  9. Rob Kistner
    Sep 06, 2019 @ 15:30:44

    Oh, the eternal frustrating push to the middle of the road — for those who can think!

    Reply

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