The Reader {#280-282}

Last week, in the Year with Rilke, I came across this poem, and it resonated deeply within me...
The Reader
by Rainer Maria Rilke

Who has not known a child like this,
who sinks into a deeper level of his being,
undisturbed by the swift turning
of each brimming page?
Even his own mother might wonder
if it is really he who sits there
saturated with his shadow.
And we, can we know
how much of him
disappears, as he reluctantly looks up
with eyes that yield
to the ready-made world without complaint?

—New Poems
How often, as a child did I find myself lost in book, preferring the world encountered on the page to that which we called real life? How many times did I choose to ignore my brothers to read and play with my favorite characters in a book? And when there was no book to read, how often did I pick up pen and paper, writing my own stories, creating my own worlds to dance and play in?

I couldn't put a number on it if I tried.

If I could choose to leave one part of myself to my niece and nephews, it would be this love of the written word, this love of books. Nothing makes my heart happier than when one of my little people picks up a book, either on their own, or to ask someone to read to them.

* * * * *

Today I am thankful for...

280:: for parents who, while they didn't fully understand my desire to constantly have my nose in a book, let me spend countless hours doing this thing that I loved.

281:: for authors who sacrificed their time, energy and stories to bring my imagination to life and create for me the infinite and endless playground of imagination.

282:: for the Bible, the ultimate book, and love letter from God. If there was only ever to be one book, this would be the one.


Rambling Heather said...

OH!! What a beautiful post. I too find myself lost in books, and praying that if I can teach my children anything it would be this love. For without it, how can they discover the beauty of the great love letter? Thank you for this inspiration. I think I need to take a peek at Rilke. I read his "Letters to a young poet" a long time ago but need to re-visit it.

susanne said...

thank you for your kind words, heather! a very good place to start with Rilke is 'The Book Of Hours: Love Poems to God'. most of my favorites of his words are in there. although his poem, 'The Man Watching' is my favorite ever!

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