Aug 8, 2014

POETRY FRIDAY: Celebrating Book Lovers Day!

Thanks to Mary Lee at A Year of Reading for hosting Poetry Friday today!

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This Saturday, August 9th is Book Lovers Day!
Because books are at the top of my list of favorite things, I thought I’d share a new favorite of mine, “The Reading Mother” by Strickland Gillian.

This poem particularly resonates with me, partly because I still read to my 11-year-old boys almost every night. I’ve read aloud to them since infancy, but when they were 4, I started reading chapter books, beginning with Judy Blume’s TALES OF A FOURTH GRADE NOTHING. Since then, we’ve read classics old and new, explored many different genres, and enjoyed books written by author friends of mine. We’re currently reading Lois Lowry’s THE GIVER, and we are all enjoying it tremendously. I hope you like Gillian's poem as much as I do! 

The Reading Mother
By Strickland Gillain (1869-1954)
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 Gelert 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 found this beautiful image online but was unable to discover the artist's name. It is such a wonderful picture--I especially love the mother's finger pointing into the air as she reads!
Happy Book Lovers Day, Happy Friday, and Happy Writing!


  1. I'd only heard of the last stanza of the poem, I'd never gotten to read the rest. That last bit(and all of it, now that I've read it) totally resonates w/me, as my mom read to us from infancy on up too. I've been doing it w/my son as well, and I can only hope at 11 he still loves it like he does now!

  2. It's wonderful that you are still reading to your kids! Wonderful memories you are making.

    1. I hope the boys' love of reading stays with them. We'll keep up the nightly reading as long as we can!

  3. I love that poem! And I also love that in my house - every day is Book Lovers Day! Also - you are the best mom - reading to those two handsome boys, Will & Ben. They are very, very lucky to have you.

  4. Wonderful poem - and lucky sons!

  5. I shall read this poem aloud to my 12 year old girl. Beautiful! I agree with Ann that every day is book lovers day! Bibliophiles unite! :)

  6. From one reading mother to another.... oh the joy of books! Here's to sharing them with sons... Thank you for sharing!

  7. Perfect poem! I try to be a "Reading Mother" to my two girls. As they grow older the time I get to share stories with them grows even more precious. = )


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