The past several nights Charlie has asked me to read to him from my old Norton Anthology of English Literature. He loves that book mostly because it has something like 1,600 pages and Charlie is big on big numbers. Plus it has marvelously crinkly paper.
I'm going to come right out and say it, but I haven't found a whole lot in the world of -- let's say "older" -- poetry that really speaks to me. Most of the stuff I find that moves me is written by dear friends.
But with Charlie's request, I've discovered a secret. And I actually feel kinda silly for not figuring this out years ago. If you want to "get" a poem, read it out loud.
The first one I read this week was "Song" by William Blake. Apparently he wrote it when he was a teenager. I'm thinking maybe one of his first experiences in love was rather horrible. Check it out - but if you do, make sure you're somewhere where you can read it out loud.
And since Charlie's now asked me to read to him from that book for four nights' running, I'm thinking he likes it. It does, however, put him to sleep.