Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Reading Fiction

"Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt even just a teensy bit guilty for carving precious time out of your busy, full life to dive into a book and relish a made-up story."  — Holly Parker, Ph.D, in Psychology Today

“It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive.”
 — James Baldwin
"Fiction that adds up, that suggests a ‘logical consistency,’ or an explanation of some kind, is surely second-rate fiction; for the truth of life is its mystery.” 
— Joyce Carol Oates
“The one way of tolerating existence is to lose oneself in literature as in a perpetual orgy.” 
— Gustave Flaubert

File:Lesrel Adolphe Alexandre captivated.jpg
Captivated by Adolphe Alexandre Lesrel 

Midweek Motif ~ Reading Fiction

What happens when you read fiction?  Does it seem more a physical, intellectual, emotional or spiritual engagement?

Or don't you read it? 

Some say it distracts us from a true path, but others believe with Ralph Waldo Emerson that "Fiction reveals truths that reality obscures." 
Your challenge:  Write a new poem with "reading fiction" as topic and/or motif.

The Novel Reader by Vincent van Gogh (1888)

The house was quiet and the world was calm.
The reader became the book; and summer night

Was like the conscious being of the book.
The house was quiet and the world was calm.

The words were spoken as if there was no book,
Except that the reader leaned above the page,

Wanted to lean, wanted much most to be
The scholar to whom his book is true, to whom

The summer night is like a perfection of thought.
The house was quiet because it had to be.

The quiet was part of the meaning, part of the mind:
The access of perfection to the page.

And the world was calm. The truth in a calm world,
In which there is no other meaning, itself

Is calm, itself is summer and night, itself
Is the reader leaning late and reading there.

reading fiction books

How Reading Fiction Books Can Change You

The Land of Story-books

At evening when the lamp is lit,
Around the fire my parents sit;
They sit at home and talk and sing,
And do not play at anything.

Now, with my little gun, I crawl
Away behind the sofa back.
All in the dark along the wall,
And follow round the forest track

And play at books that I have read
There, in the night, where none can spy,
All in my hunter’s camp I lie,
The roaring lions come to drink.

Till it is time to go to bed. 
These are the hills, these are the woods,
These are my starry solitudes;
I see the others far away

And there the river by whose brink 
Home I return across the sea,
As if in firelit camp they lay,
And I, like to an Indian scout,

Around their party prowled about.
So, when my nurse comes in for me,
At my dear land of Story-books.
And go to bed with backward looks

There is no Frigate like a Book 
To take us Lands away, 
Nor any Coursers like a Page 
Of prancing Poetry – 
This Traverse may the poorest take 
Without oppress of Toll – 
How frugal is the Chariot
That bears a Human soul.

Please share your new poem using Mr. Linky below and visit others in the spirit of the community.   (Next week Sumana’s Midweek Motif will be ~ Ode to Age.)


  1. Hello everyone! Thank you Susan for the wonderful prompt. Writing after a long time.

  2. I'm late, I'm late, the white rabbit mumbled running into the room ....and I'm ready to post and come around, my own poem one of many that stirred my soul! I live for fiction, learn history and possibility there.

    Have a great day!

    1. What is my most recent fiction indulgence? A tough one, "SING, UNBURIED,SING" by Jesmyn Ward. Very good, but hard.

  3. Here it is six a.m. and i have been reading for an hour - non-fiction - lol about the melting Arctic. Will be along later, once i'm at my desk.

  4. Happy Wednesday every one. I am reading presently 'Carpe Diem' by Autumn Cornwell
    Luv the prompt Susan.

    much love...

  5. Thanks, Susan for such a great prompt. I took this in a different direction.

  6. Well honestly I had written something on this theme in my mother tongue Hindi sometime back, so the thought may not be new to those who read my blog regularly, but it IS an absolutely fresh idea to all my friends @ Poets United! Thank you Susan..

  7. Thank you, everyone, for a few days full of bliss and splendor!


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