Monday, July 25, 2011

The power of words ...

                                                                                THE READING MOTHER
Strickland Gillilan

I HAD A MOTHER who read to me 
Sagas of pirates who scoured the sea, 
Cutlasses clenched in their yellow teeth, 
"Blackbirds" stowed in the hold beneath

I had a Mother who read me lays 
Of ancient and gallant and golden days; 
Stories of Marmion and Ivanhoe, 
Which every boy has a right to know.

I had a Mother who read me tales 
Of Celert the hound of the hills of Wales, 
True to his trust till his tragic death, 
Faithfulness blent with his final breath.

I had a Mother who read me the things 
That wholesome life to the boy heart brings- 
Stories that stir with an upward touch, 
Oh, that each mother of boys were such.

You may have tangible wealth untold; 
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold. 
Richer than I you can never be --
I had a Mother who read to me.

I "borrowed" this picture from my sister-in-law's blog, because it captures such a perfect moment. (Thanks, Jenny!)

I love this poem because it is so true.

I was fortunate to have not just a "reading mother" but a "reading father," too. Some of my fondest memories can be tied to books. Listening as my parents introduced me to:
 "The Little House on the Prairie" books,
"The Chronicles of Narnia,"
"Charlie, and the Chocolate Factory,"
 "The Door in the Wall"
 (and so many more)
  filled my mind with a thirst for knowledge and my heart with a love for the written word.

I also had more than one "reading teacher"- not in the traditional sense of the phrase, though I had many of those throughout my schooling - but teachers who were truly passionate about words. And not just in books - poetry or prose; short or long - it didn't seem to matter. They devoured the phrases set before them and created a similar hunger in me.

I hope that in some small way, I am creating a similar desire in those I teach.


  1. James & the Giant Peach
    Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh
    The Great Brain Series
    Fantastic Mr. Fox

    There are so many...

  2. So true...I could probably fill a blog post and more with a list... :-)