Bookstores are my favourite stores! Unfortunately, they are a species in extinction, due the raging e-commerce. Private little bookstores, run by amazingly well-read and well-informed book specialists are hardly to be found anymore, but OK, a big Waterstones is not bad either.
When visiting my daughter in Britain I always return to the local Waterstones and spend hours rummaging through my favourite sections (Mind, Body & Spirit, Poetry, Health & Lifestyle, Food & Drink), book by book. Due to the limited size of my book-shelves at home, I allow myself to buy only one single book (and at home as one goes in,
one goes out), so it really has to be well chosen.
This year I left with a beautiful poetry book: “The Everyday Poet – Poems to Live By”. It was a difficult choice between this rather small, beautifully hard-covered compilation and a much thicker paperback poetry compilation at the same price. At last I settled for the smaller one, because I easily get overwhelmed by too many poems at once, because “less is more”, and because I really liked the approach of the editor, Emergency Poet Deborah Alma. She works in an old ambulance where visitors “take part in a free private poetic health consultation with the Emergency Poet, and within 10 minutes will be prescribed an appropriate poem, verse or lyric”. Badly needed in our world, so lacking in poetry!
Travelling back from Cardiff took me around twelve hours, so I had ample time to read the book, to choose a favourite poem, and to learn it by heart:
There Will Come Soft Rains
By Sara Teasdale
There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;
And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white,
Robins will wear their feathery fire
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;
And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.
Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
If mankind perished utterly;
And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn
Would scarcely know that we were gone.