Chosing the Proper Book

In part, this poem is inspired by poet Billy Collins’ poem Introduction to PoetryIt was a quick write, my pen, or rather my typing fingers, crafting these images as I sipped morning coffee and chatted with my wife and son. Revisions will be made, but the poem needs to rest first. I’ll let it rest here.

And yes, I love books!! I use this method of chosing books all the time. Try it.

The Proper Book

Pick a book up; place it to your ear.
Listen for the clang of steel,
battle swords carving the morning air

above an able hurlyburly, and the blare
of trumpets wrapping both charge
and retreat, victory cries and woeful howls,

like a ribbon into a perfect day’s read.
Smell it. Tune your senses. Does it stink
like troll? Does the sweat of ogre dampen

its pages? Proper books must reek of adventure
and possess a certain heft, weight born
of noble causes and sinister selfishness.

And if the cover is warm, and growing warmer,
because it hides a dragon’s mighty heart,
then quickly find a chair, a soft cookie,

and a mug of warm milk.
Your book’s story must be unfurled.
There’s no time to waste.


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “I Want to Know What Love Is.”


5 thoughts on “Chosing the Proper Book

  1. Being a book addict, I found this very sensible advice. I’ve never read the book Inkheart, but I’ve seen the movie. A lot of your stuff falls into that same visual category for me.


      1. Guess that’s going to have to be next on my reading list! I think that’s why a lot of your stuff conjures up certain pictures for me. I see them popping in and out of your head while you write. Your stuff, however, is much more fantastical than the author’s in the movie was


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