summer reading

“Vilma reading on a Sofa” by Tavik Frantisek Simon

Years ago when I did workshops for teachers about books and reading I frequently put this poem in my handout material.   I think it’s important to take time to read something beautiful every day.  My daughters taking care of little cousins, reading to them and later relaxing and reading themselves reminded me of this poem. There is something magical reading on a summer night.

The House Was Quiet And The World Was Calm

by Wallace Stevens (1879 – 1955)

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 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.

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