Friday, April 20, 2012

Steal This Book

Light-fingered nuns...
they probably exist.

Me, I am faux-wicked;
and maybe, that's my worst failing.

I found a book,
somebody else's book.

They had got up,
not left the country...

But this was my book--
I know because it spoke to me,

And my heart, well my heart
wanted it, and knew it, and walked away with it.

I read it like a thief,
or saint;

At least, no thief or saint
Ever loved her blessing any better.

This book, it had the words
that were meant for me, I swear it.

It had the spell I was born for,
and that no bell, book or candle could ever conjure...

But the book, it also had
someone else's name in it, and address,

Some place where there must have been
an empty space on the shelf,

All the while that I held it.
In the end, I mailed it back,

To someone I don't even know,
Who may cherish it truly, or not at all.

It wasn't my book, but it wrapped around my soul,
and so I call it "my" book, even though it never was.
_________

for Mary's movie prompt at Real Toads.

"Strangers When We Meet" is about Maggie, played by Kim Novak. She and Kirk Douglas' character have an affair. The movie poster, above, makes it look very urban and sophisticated, but in fact, he is an architect and she is a suburban mom. I discovered it accidentally a couple of years ago on cable. It became one of those movies I love, and I cry every time I watch it.  

22 comments:

Sioux said...

Didn't Abby Hoffman write a book titled "Steal This Book" or am I not remembering things clearly?

Light-fingered nuns? I don't think so.

"...faux-wicked." What a wonderful phrase. Also, "It had the spell I was born for."

Mary said...

I enjoyed this tale of faux-wicked light fingering and then the turn of conscience which precipitated the mailing the book back 'home.' I was wondering what the name of this book was, the one that called out to you and blessed you with its words!

hedgewitch said...

My mother had this book in her reader's digest collection of those slashed and put together anthologies they did--I liked the title but never read it--your poem shows how human, unknowable and in the end, unpossessable, a book can be. Still the ones that speak to us are in some fundamental way, forever 'ours.'

Daryl Edelstein said...

insane week .. glad to get here and find such a wonderful prompt/poem ... you know I dont think I've seen this .. going to add it to NetFlix streaming!

Laurie Kolp said...

Sounds like a good movie. I'll be sure to look for it!

nene said...

Shay, your such a softy for soft bound books. How you embrace its storied narrative is yours to keep.

Still, I love your 'wings'.

tu amigo

Shawna said...

I love this:

"Me, I am faux-wicked;
and maybe, that's my worst failing."

I think the book thievery is probably a metaphor paralleling the subject matter of the book. The book is a lover returned at the end.

I also like this:

"I read it like a thief,
or saint"

And this is the saddest part:
"Who may cherish it truly, or not at all"

No book should go uncherished. :(

rosemarymint.wordpress.com

TexWisGirl said...

i loved your poem.

Kerry O'Connor said...

I'm a purloiner of books too (Shhh!)I believe that fate intends for me to have certain books, and if no one will miss them, they are fair game. In fact, one of my closest friends lent me 'The Book Thief' and I refused to give it back. I told him, if he wanted it, he should buy himself another - so he did.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Beautiful, Shay. Sad and haunting. The movie sounds good too. I love your comment over on the right to Laura Petrie, hee hee.

Mama Zen said...

"Me, I am faux-wicked;
and maybe, that's my worst failing."

I love that.

De said...

Excellent. Particularly love these lines:
"And my heart, well my heart
wanted it, and knew it, and walked away with it.

I read it like a thief,
or saint;"

Buddah Moskowitz said...

I love this love song to a book. You make me want to read the movie or see the book. What's most surprising about this poem is that tender romance you exhibit. You're a constant surprise, and it's a firecracker joy to read (and know) you. LUV, Mosk

Kay L. Davies said...

If your worst failing is faux, you're in good shape, my dear Shay. Super poem. I can definitely relate to books that "belong" to us, seem even to have been written for us.
K

Peggy said...

I love the story you tell about borrowing the book in your poem. Reading it and sending it back to someone you never met is a neat take on the title of this movie.

Ella said...

I love the spell you cast, the book, the bell and the candle~ Enchanting and now I want to go watch it!
Thanks Shay :D

Hannah said...

SO true of some books and movies for that matter!

I love this part:


It had the spell I was born for,
and that no bell, book or candle could ever conjure...

Excellent!

Lydia said...

At least, no thief or saint
Ever loved her blessing any better.


That is so beautiful, Shay. The whole poem is a real delight. Love the bell, book and candle reference, especially after learning that the movie was another movie starring Kim Novak. Are you aware that I have an old cat named Pyewacket after BB&C? She is in her last months now and bewitching as all her years.

Margaret said...

At least, no thief or saint
Ever loved her blessing any better.

JUST EXQUISITE. And I just put the movie at the top of my netflix list!

Susie Clevenger said...

"faux wicked" love that. So glad your sin enjoyment remains...I have a few of those. :)

Jannie Funster said...

Sounds like a gripping movie. I like when a movie makes me cry. Or a song.

listening to the "thinking of you" song as I write this, from your next post. Pretty catchy.

always deeply impressed with your poems.

xo

Lolamouse said...

Oh my! You're a romantic at heart! I won't tell.