Alexandre Nodopaka

Freshman - 993 Points (1940 / Russia)

The Man Who Reads Only Half Of What's Written - Poem by Alexandre Nodopaka

He was an inveterate reader since the age of about 11.
He started reading not remembering today when or why
or who or what motivated him then.

All he remembers is that it was in the very first room
he occupied by himself and that truly belonged to him
that he lined one wall from end to end and floor to ceiling

with straight bookshelves made of pine wood planks
of just the right width to accept books whose spines
would barely inset on the front of the shelf.

The reason was to reduce dusting. Of necessity the books
he chose fulfilled those mathematical criteria and were
all of identical nature produced by the same publishers.

Their width and height and thickness were similar
down to the page of the plot denouement. He even
remembers that each page numbered 154 exposed

the whodunit. Nowadays his many bookshelves and
nooks and crannies are hardly lined as many of those
unread books are simply stacked to be read on rainy days.

Today, the ones he deems worthy of reading must be read
rather fast due to his advancing age and the reduced time
left in his life. Consequently his preference when he lays

on one side of his head while reading in bed. And since
holding a book open is nearly impossible because of cramps
he rests the book folded in half.

He no longer cares to break their spines since he considers
books that are not stitched with thread and holes
are undeserving to be saved.

In bed he rests his hand with the book folded over its spine
and he reads only odd-numbered pages saving the even pages
for kindling his fireplace.

Topic(s) of this poem: pome, poem

Form: Prose Poem

Poet's Notes about The Poem

A quirky reader

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, November 12, 2015

Poem Edited: Sunday, December 20, 2015

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