From “Church Going”

Image

A serious house on serious earth it is,
In whose blent air all our compulsions meet,
Are recognized, and robed as destinies.
And that much never can be obsolete,
Since someone will forever be surprising
A hunger in himself to be more serious,
And gravitating with it to this ground,
Which, he once heard, was proper to grow wise in,
If only that so many dead lie round.

-Philip Larkin

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On reading

A Nigerien woman demonstrates that she can read and write by writing her name in the sand in Adouna, Niger, Aug. 2010.

He ate and drank the precious words,

His spirit grew robust;

He knew no more that he was poor,

Nor that his frame was dust.

He danced along the dingy days,

And this bequest of wings

Was but a book — What liberty

A loosened spirit brings —

-Emily Dickinson