Crumbs From the Corner: Adventures in Woolgathering

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Just Books

Notes on the Art of Poetry, by Dylan Thomas

I could never have dreamt that there were such goings-on
in the world between the covers of books,
such sandstorms and ice blasts of words,
such staggering peace, such enormous laughter,
such and so many blinding bright lights,
splashing all over the pages
in a million bits and pieces
all of which were words, words, words,
and each of which were alive forever
in its own delight and glory and oddity and light.

Often I find myself admiring a work of art for reasons other than the most popular ones. I might inexplicably favour the most underrated song on an album or prefer a poet's least-known verse.
This is one of my favourite lines from 'Fahrenheit 451' by Ray Bradbury:
"They read the long afternoon through, while the cold November rain fell from the sky upon the quiet house."
It is not one of the noted highlights of the novel; nor is it a particularly memorable line, or a remarkable one given the gripping nature of the rest of the book.
Still, I think that anyone who enjoys books would care deeply for that sentence. It is a peaceful combination of words, one that evokes an atmosphere of dreamy devotion to reading and learning.
Today is a quiet and tranquil Sunday; for that reason those very lines are turning in my mind and I expect to read a good deal this afternoon.
It is essential to sit, on occasion, as the skies open, and give oneself to an uninterrupted afternoon of books. Be surrounded by them- they can banish the gloom and can cause the the world to be still with a mere turn of the page.
I feel significantly stronger and more hopeful about everything simply for being in a room filled to the brim with nothing but honest to goodness books.


hele said...

This post makes me like you so much.

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

You've just made my Sunday with a compliment like that. Thank you, thank you...

Nan said...

Not related to your very nice posting, but just wanted to thank you for the comment on my blog, and let you know I deleted the post because I quit the book!!

Pappy said...

Hi The,
Don't know what's better, a good book or a long nap on a rainy afternoon. A good book is so much better than what passes for entertainment these days. I have a stack by my bedside in various states of completion. I need to write some. Look forward to future posts.

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

Nan, thanks for letting me know that.
I do like your blog immensely.

Texican, yes, it's a tough call between books and sleeping. I don't think I could live without books. And like you I've got far more than one going at a time. Life really is short and I remember that when I see my book stack.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

lovely post. very comforting. and thanks sharing for dylan's notes....

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

Thanks Kimy, I do like Dylan Thomas a lot. I think he's timeless.

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