A few weeks back I had to move all the furniture in my lounge room and this led me to deciding I might as well rearrange it as I put it back. The biggest part of this was moving the bookcase and – naturally – all the books.
I have a lot of books on the shelves that I rarely read. Particularly books I’ve kept from when I was a kid. This includes what you’d expect in fiction for young readers, but it also includes poetry. Lots of poetry.
From when I was about 9 I frequented a second hand bookshop which had a great selection of poetry and, with my meager pocket money, I started a small and eclectic collection. I should say, I’d already had a love of rhyme and so had quite a few books of ‘childrens’ verse’, but this shop allowed me to expand into other areas. I kept buying poetry there until I was well into my 20s.
The thing is; I stopped reading (and writing) poetry in my late 20s. This means I’ve had all these poetry books on my shelves for a long time just collecting dust. In fact the only one I still regularly read is a volume I stole from my dad! It feeds my addiction to John Donne, Lord Byron and Christina Rossetti. Less often I break out my dedicated books of Blake or Donne and, likewise, books of Henry Lawson and Banjo Patterson for an Australian fix.
I suspect those will be the last poetry books to suffer being culled, but every time I do a rearrangement a few more go to the charity shop.