Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘better’

Image

I, Poppy23, promise to read.

I promise to read on my own, in print or on a screen, wherever books appear. I promise to visit fictional worlds and gain new perspectives — to keep an open mind about books, even when the cover is unappealing and the author is unfamiliar. I promise to laugh out loud (especially in public) when the chapter amuses me, and to sob uncontrollably on my bed for hours at a time when my favorite character dies. I promise to look up words when I don’t know them, and cities when I can’t locate them, and people when I can’t remember them. I promise to lose track of time.

I promise to read with kindred soul, if not every night, then whenever I can. I promise to remember that this person is more than my son, daughter, mother, father, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, cousin, landlord, or dog walker; he or she has a mind that, like mine, loves to be used and challenged. I promise to share books however suits us best, whether we choose to read to each other or simply get together for discussions and homemade baked goods. I promise to appreciate the time we spend together and the literature we meet, even when I am stressed or tired or sunburned (or an awful combination of the three), because books are better when they’re shared. I promise to do my best to meet our goal, whether that goal is to read for ten thousand nights or simply to get to know each other better. I promise never to give up on reading, nor let us give up on each other, whether we meet our goal or not.

I promise to support reading, however I can, and everywhere else for that matter. I promise to spread the word about words, whether it’s volunteering at my local library or just recommending good books to friends. I promise to speak out if reading is cut from the school curriculum, and to fight for books whenever their value is challenged. I promise to tell everyone I know how reading calms me down, riles me up, makes me think, or helps me get to sleep at night. I promise to read, and read to someone, as long as human thought is still valued and there are still words to be shared. 

I promise to be there for books, because I know they will always be there for me.

Image

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Image

Dear Mr. Waters,

I am in receipt of your electronic mail dated the 14th of April and duly impressed by the Shakespearean complexity of your tragedy. Everyone in this tale has a rock-solid hamartia: hers, that she is so sick; yours, that you are so well. Were she better or you sicker, then the stars would not be so terribly crossed, but it is the nature of stars to cross, and never was Shakespeare more wrong than when he had Cassius note, “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars / but in ourselves.” Easy enough to say when you’re a Roman nobleman (or Shakespeare!), but there is no shortage of fault to be found amid our stars.

While we’re on the topic of old Will’s insufficiencies, your writing about young Hazel reminds me of the Bard’s Fifty-fifth sonnet, which of course begins, “Not a marble, nor the gilded monuments  / of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme; / nut you shall shine more bright in these contents / Than unswept stone, besmear’d with sluttish time.” (Off topic, but: What a slut time is. She screws everybody.) It’s a fine poem but a deceitful one: We do indeed remember Shakespeare’s powerful rhyme, but what do we remember about the person it commemorates? Nothing. We’re pretty sure he was male; everything else is guesswork. Shakespeare told us precious little of the man whom he entombed in his linguistic sarcophagus. (Witness also that when we talk about literature, we do so in the present tense. We we speak of the dead, we are not so kind.) You do not immortalize the lost by writing about them. Language buries, but does not resurrect. (Full disclosure: I am not the first to make this observation. cf, the MacLeish poem “Not Marble, Nor the gilded Monuments,” which contains the heroic line “I shall say you will die and none will remember you.”)

I digress, but here’s the rub: The dead are visable only in the terrible lidless eye of memory. The living, thank heaven, retain the avility to surprise and disappoint. Your Hazel is alive, Waters, and you mustn’t impose your will upon anoth’s decision, particularly a decision arrived at thoughtfully. She wishes to spare you pain, and you should let her. You may not find young Hazel’s logic persuasive, but I trod through this vale of tears longer than you, and from where I’m sitting, she’s not the lunatic.

Yours truly,

Peter Van Houten

❥ The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Read Full Post »

Image

Read Full Post »