A New Chapter

A poem by Laurence Musgrove on reading books.

December 7, 2018

Without empathy on the reader’s part,
the writer can do nothing, …

Stephen Dobyns


I led a reading life of books
As I thought writers must lead them:
Underlining passages
So I could return to them later
And follow the crumbs
Back to the house I loved.

Now I’m giving away my books
And sorry for the lines I made
And the words I wrote in the frame
Of the pages that once loved me.
So rarely did I go back and visit,
There was so much new to teach.

Tonight, I am reading for the first time
A chapter for class tomorrow,
And I love this book too, very much
But I put my pen down, no more selfies,
Just curious what lines my students
Are drawing on their pages tonight.


Laurence Musgrove


Laurence Musgrove is professor and chair of English and modern languages at Angelo State University. His collection of poetry, Local Bird, and a forthcoming collection of aphorisms, One Kind of Recording, are from Lamar University Literary Press.


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