I like old books. Okay, who am I kidding? I love new books, middle aged books, ancient books… I’m just enchanted by tomes that smell, look, and feel like they’ve been loved by another, for a very long time, and often enough to give them character.
For my 36th birthday, my Piano Man gave me a 144-year-old illustrated copy of one of my favorite oldies: Locksley Hall by Lord Alfred Tennyson.
Look how Time has cracked his spine;
tattooing, “Yes, I’ve been read, loved, kept…” on his skin;
spelling the marks of readers’ stories on the face of his poesy.
I wonder if the winter holidays of 1935 saw Shirley grin as wide as I grinned this past spring.
I hope she smiled and did a little dance when she first touched our book—I did ;-)
Locksley Hall was not what stirred my interest in Tennyson’s work. Not at all, my Luvs; it was the need “To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield” I felt during my readings of “Ulysses” that sent me searching for more treasures by the poet. And I’m glad this was the case, for in those days I was young enough to disregard the words of anyone who wrote, “Woman is the lesser man…”
By the time I ran into Locksley Hall, life (and people) had happened to me. I had already learned that speakers could be bitter without their writer’s approval. And, yes, “words are wild…”
sometimes, they are forced out of the mouths of “beasts with lower pleasures…”
but regardless of how they are used by people, words will always be themselves under the cover.