Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Books Have Helped Me

I recently read OVERHEARD IN A TOWER BLOCK: Poems by Joseph Coelho, illustrated by Kate Milner. This book has garnered some critical acclaim in the UK, so I wanted to check it out. It's a series of poems, all about growing up in a housing project -- which can be gritty and difficult, but also with beautiful moments. These poems all stand alone, which I appreciate! Here's one I can relate to completely:

Books Have Helped Me
by Joseph Coelho

Books have more images between their words
than any smart phone could hold.
More flavours than a thousand jelly beans.
More lives for you to live
than any computer game.

Books have helped me.

I've read about characters
who have laughed, cried and sighed like me.

Characters who have battled
monsters larger than any I could imagine.

Characters who have travelled distances longer
than there are miles between me and the sun.

When I thumb through a book
their pages whisper to me
that I'll be all right.

And here's one more, for those of us who love getting/sending snailmail:

When Your Letters Came
by Joseph Coelho

When your letters came...
I stuck the stamps in my scrapbook,
sent my dreams to a secret shore.

A place imagined from each tiny image:
peeled palm trees,
grand ships and heroes,
a magical land

where you sat under a sticky sky,
writing promises
in sun-faded ink.

Want more? Click to see/hear the author reading his poem "The Watchers" on vimeo.

1 comment:

  1. Love the poem "Books Have Helped Me" and these comforting lines:
    "When I thumb through a book
    their pages whisper to me
    that I'll be all right."
    Just checked the library, my local library has it and I'm #1 in line!
    Thanks for sharing and introducing me to a new book.


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