love that hurts

The Reluctant (but resolute) Reader

Written by Susan Noyes Anderson on . Posted in General-Literary Poems, Love Poems

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©2020 Susan Noyes Anderson
image by Olga Tutunaru on Unsplash

I am the unwieldy book
you would rather not read
that opened up well but then
took a late turn for the worse.
And now, duty bound, you cannot
simply put me down firmly.
Compelled, you must finish your start,
every chapter and verse.

No matter that you are dismayed
with each page you are turning,
feeling bored or repelled or depressed
by the lines you must read.
Your commitment was for the
duration, however displeasing;
and you’ll soldier through, even if
the thing makes your brain bleed.

Who knew a good plot could unwind
in directions so galling?
Who might have imagined such promise
would fall so far short?
And yet you continue to plod on,
your distaste concealing,
as if to prepare for some
end-of-the-class book report.

May I, as the book, give some feedback,
a few observations?
I like being read by a reader
who cradles my spine,
who speaks my words gently and
looks for the feeling behind them,
who turns pages searching for
meaning behind every line.

No book can be honored by readers
who flog themselves through it.
Being read demands more than
pronouncing each word till the end
A book lives and breathes
in the reader’s desire to pursue it
and comes as a gift, not a sentence
that you can’t suspend.

Better not open pages until
you can come as a friend.

If this poem resonates with you, you might enjoy reading The Honeymoon Is Over. You might also find The Untended to your liking. Additional related poems are listed below.

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