From 2017, I think.


Harvard undergrads

used to read books

on the Red Line train:

Nausea, Death in Venice,

Narcissus and Goldmund.


How many eyes nowadays

scan print and paper?

Virtually none.




I’ll still carry

three or four paperbacks

in my tote bag,

the poor man’s Kindle.




When I was sixteen,

I hid a copy

of The Colossus

in my jacket pocket

at Steve & Cory’s wedding.


Thirty years have passed

since I bought my first volumes of verse:

Eliot’s Four Quartets,

Rimbaud’s Illuminations,

Heaney’s Field Work.


Eliot because it was cheap,

Rimbaud because it was French,

Heaney because Mr Waldron

said he was good.




Sure, I’m as guilty

as the next guy

of checking the iPhone

during a dull commute.


But there are times

at home alone

I’ll pick up a book,

an old favorite,

weathered, seasoned,

and pace from room to room

reading aloud

to the four walls.




Wystan, Estlin, Theodore, Marianne,

you wouldn’t be the same

as lucent type on a small screen.


You’re most at home

in dead-tree editions!


I lift your pages

and kiss the verses

as the priest

kisses the Gospel.

Poetry by Uncle Meridian The PoetBay support member heart!
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Written on 2022-08-10 at 08:58

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Lawrence Beck The PoetBay support member heart!
I consider it just a personal bias, but I do prefer books over computer screens (I'd never consider trying to read a poem on a cell phone). I completely agree that poetry should be read aloud. As with grain, casting poetry into the air separates the wheat from the chaff.

ken d williams The PoetBay support member heart!
Just go off the phone ordering five new books histoys
Three of them History's of the time I were a part of!
Ken D. :)

jim The PoetBay support member heart!
I agree. Yet, here I am, first thing in the morning, happily reading poems online.

I note that you read poems aloud, I do not, which may explain why your poems are more lyrical while mine are stories. We develop an ear for inner or . . . exterior . . . writing.

Now I think of Han Shan writing poems on rocks.