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Carlo C Gomez Sep 2020
entered the upstairs library,

In shifts,
heads bowed.

The flickers of remembrance
softly stroked her hair,

Until the dousing of
the final candle

Summoned nightfall
to dance at her funeral party.
All those books they made us read,
The smelly yellow-pagers
That weighed as heavy as the guilt
We felt as "zombie teenagers";

Do we remember anything?
The names of the main characters,
Or maybe, who died in the end--
Or the ones who were in pictures?

It wasn't that we hated books--
We didn't understand them;
Before the teacher's spiritless voice
Made us slowly condemn them.

"Memorize the vocab words,
And don't forget the spelling!"
Was that the point of literature?
But definitions aren't compelling.

So all those hours in English Lit,
The days spent reading Steinbeck,
Were soured by the grouchy face
Always looming over my desk.

I always wished someone would say,
"This isn't boring, here's why:"
But I was told to shut up and read
When sometimes I wanted to cry:

"I hate this story! Nobody's happy!
And everyone's messed up!
It doesn't make sense to force it on us
When we're already stressed out."

But we had to read it, because they had to read it
When they were young in school.
This book had an impact in history:
So now, reading it is a rule.

So if it's a must, that's fine, then.
But...why don't we make it fun?
Or talk about the psychology
And learn something when we're done?

A book can't be everyone's favorite.
We're all different people inside.
But please try to make us all interested
With wisdom only you can provide.
Steinbeck, Dickens, Orwell, Bronte, Fitzgerald, all those depressing writers that we were forced to read. I only liked Edgar Allen Poe, and that's saying something!
What gave you your direction?
What made you want to write?
What ever was the reason
that saw you editing all night?

Perhaps you loved Lord Byron
or for you was Poe the man
or maybe Keats or Dr. Seuss,
with his green eggs and ham.

What had you writing poetry?
Who did you want to be?
The answer to that question
is an easy one for me.

You'll probably howl
when you hear of my choice.
He's hardly a Jane Austin
or Helen Steiner Rice.

And it wasn't Charlotte Bronte
who gave to me the thrill.
But a little fat comedien
with the name of Benny Hill.

As a youngster I remember
his rather raunchy rhymes
that some would look at with contempt
but they did that in those times.

I just remember that he creased me up
and I would laugh and laugh all day.
I would memorise and tell to friends
when we all went out to play.

As the years went on and I read the greats
everything grew in my mind.
I read and read my poetry
anything that I could find.

But of all the brilliant scholars
that have written and do still.
None will grace my heart and make me feel
like that poet Benny Hill.
29 August 2014

— The End —