Friday, January 29, 2010

Poetry Friday

It's been way too long since I did a Poetry Friday. I haven't been reading much. And for some reason when I'm not reading, I'm not thinking about books. And this Robert Service poem (Did I mention I'm completely in love with Services work?) seems to fit my recent mood only too perfectly. I have two huge bookcases filled with books I've bought but haven't read yet. I keep collecting them and then they sit gathering dust. I wish I was better, like my sister, who's going through her shelf reading through all those yet unread books. I just keep buying more and not ever getting to them.

Book Lover
by Robert Service

I keep collecting books I know
I'll never, never read;
My wife and daughter tell me so,
And yet I never heed.
"Please make me," says some wistful tome,
"A wee bit of yourself."
So I bring my treasure home,
And tuck it in a shelf.

And now my very shelves complain;
They jam and over-spill.
They say: "Why don't you ease our strain?"
"Some day," I say, "I will."
So book by book they plead and sigh;
I pick and dip and scan;
Then put them back, distrest that I
Am such a busy man.

Now, there's my Boswell and my Sterne,
my Gibbon and Defoe;
To savour Swift I'll never learn,
Montaigne I may never know.
On Bacon I will never sup,
For Shakespeare I've no time;
Because I'm busy making up
These jingly bits of rhyme.

Chekov is caviare to me,
While Stendhal makes me snore;
Poor Proust is not my cup of tea,
And Balzac is a bore.
I have their books, I love their names,
And yet alas! they head,
With Lawrence, Joyce and Henry James,
My Roster of Unread.

I think it would be very well
If I commit a crime,
And get put in a prison cell
And not allowed to rhyme;
Yet given all these worthy books
According to my need,
I now caress with loving looks,
But never, never read.


Emilie said...

No applause yet dear sister. My collection also grows. Did I mention I went to the library yesterday...17 items later and my collection still grows. No worries. You could collect guns, or candy bar wrappers, or condoms like those crazy sickos!

Cat B said...

Hahaha. Of course. Those crazy condom collectors. I would never...oh wait....

And I would assume your collection will continue to grow. But as we talked about, you have a shelf or two of books waiting to be read. I have bookcases!!!! As in plural. And that stuff you take out from the library has to be returned. I didn't assume you were finished but I'm impressed that you're making the attempt.