Happy New Year, dear readers! Today’s poet, former US Poet Laureate Rita Dove, is an avid reader who has loved books since she was a child. When she was twelve, she tried reading all of Shakespeare in one summer! But Dove understands that for others, even the idea of reading a book can be scary and that reading is not a universal source of joy. In “The First Book” Dove nudges us to step out of our comfort zone, open a book, and discover the magic of reading.
The First Book
Go ahead, it won’t bite.
Well … maybe a little.
More a nip, like. A tingle.
It’s pleasurable, really.
You see, it keeps on opening.
You may fall in.
Sure, it’s hard to get started;
remember learning to use
knife and fork? Dig in:
you’ll never reach bottom.
It’s not like it’s the end of the world–
just the world as you think
you know it.
You can listen to Rita Dove read “The First Book” in this brief interview with Bill Moyers:
What will the first book of 2021 be for you?
What was your favorite book of 2020? My favorite novel was The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. The best book of poetry/essays for me in 2020 was The Book of Delights by Ross Gay. Share your favorites in the comments section below, so we can check them out, too.
“The First Book” by Rita Dove from Thomas and Beulah, 1986. Copyrighted material used for educational purposes.
“There is no Frigate like a BookEmily Dickinson
To take us Lands away”