I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

19 April 2016

Book Fever

The trouble is,
the brain – of which
this is an inflammation –
affects the body too.
So you see, it isn't just
'all in the mind'. (Oh if only 
it were! There it is so delicious, 
so delirious, so absorbing, 
so heavenly transporting....)

But also there are troublesome
symptoms – physical effects.
For instance the deafness.
I keep missing what others
are saying: their calls
to work, to duty. And the eyes,
the tunnel vision; I lose
my peripheries, I can focus
nowhere else but the page.

It even takes the appetite.
Hours I go without food,
never thinking of it.
Though sometimes 
there's the opposite effect –
the craving for sugar,
the over-abuse of coffee –
of course subsidiary
to the morbid rejection of sleep.

Yet, when I need to be alert,
I slump on my bed
overcome by lethargy,
almost motionless
except for the feverish eyes,
and my frantic hands
flipping the pages. Worst of all,
there is no known cure. It's a life 
sentence ... hot sentences, burning.

Little girl reading a book in a burned-out forest by simpleinsomnia on Flickr https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Written for Dark Poetry for the Cruellest Month Day 8: Fictitious Afflictions. (This one is assuredly fictitious, and also poetic.)

Also linked to Tuesday Platform, April 19 at 'imaginary garden with real toads'.


  1. I think a support group needs to be started. That is, if we can tear ourselves away from our books that long!

  2. Oh, I've suffered from this for years!

  3. Tis an affliction I struggle with constantly...and that picture is just fabulous :D XXX

  4. Love love love this :D hot sentences burning... indeed! :D

  5. Hahaha! Love this! I think quite a few of us suffer from this.

  6. Oh, love it! I can relate to this affliction. But your words, "keep missing... calls to work, to duty" got me laughing out loud. Brilliant!

  7. How I've suffered this malady through the years. I've stolen (time from others), in other to feed the ailment's demands. And worst (or best), I don't want to be cured. The idea of a cure scares me. I will probably die with the disease. Here is to the deaf, feverish-eyed, frantic-handed souls who delight in the effects of severe Book Fever!

    How I love this, Rosemary! ♥

  8. I can so relate to this too, I have the same malady. Well said and I, too, love the picture, she is/was starting young :-)

  9. Actually a malady of some joy too...

  10. Something's burning and it'll not go away. The feeling of wanting to overcome is uppermost. It is a measure of deciding perhaps!


  11. Delicious decadence and for me it has to take place in between the sheets with lots of feather cushions:)

  12. Oh, this had been my affliction since the days of "Dick and Jane". I suffer most wondrously with it and would not have it any other way.

  13. Oh, Rosemary. I definitely have this.

    FANTASTIC piece. Love the symptoms. And this last line is a stunner:

    It's a life
    sentence ... hot sentences, burning.

  14. Nice, nice, luv this

    Happy Tuesday

    much love...

  15. So true of booklovers. I hate being interrupted when I'm reading. It's like people think "Oh, she's not doing anything."

  16. Ha. Much enjoyed. Thanks. k.

  17. "It's a life sentence . . . hot sentences, burning." Love this!

  18. Oh yeah, I sure get this one!

  19. Love those dynamic last three words. In April, I definitely suffer badly with this curse, and love every minute of it...Actually, I the love doesn't really surface till reflection time later when the pride and relief set in...

  20. Oh I can so relate to this one. Although reading is not my affliction, mine is painting and I will have the same symptoms as in your third paragraph. Your words made me smile and chuckle out loud! The photo you found is so cool. I love old pics, or ones that look that way. And reading a book in a burned out forest...I guess the flames traveled right around her too! Hugs, Rasz