How to discover your favorite book

How to discover your favorite book

A Poem by The Raven King

an instruction poem assignment for creative writing class


Pick up a book.

Allow the spine

to rest in your palm.

Check for readiness by smelling

the days or decades

hidden in the pages.

Grasp the cover


like a husk.

Delicately open it.

Look for a dedication

or some markings of ownership

written in pencil by intellectuals

written in pen by egoists

and written in marker by people

who should not own books.


Skip the introduction

by the author (or worse)

who did not write this book.

Skip all pages numbered in roman numerals.

Start reading at the beginning.


Judge the first line too harshly and the second line too kind.

Read the middle.

The time will vary.


On page 90 spend three hours

lost inside a sentence about horseback riding.


On page 121 ponder

the brown smudge on the bottom corner.


On page 249 be certain you know

what the green stain is in the binding.  

Ignore, read and turn hurriedly. 


Feel a mixture of accomplishment

and worry as you approach

The End.


Question a part of the book

that was referenced


Flip through previous pages

until you get to page 90.

Oh yeah, horseback riding.


Read the ending.

Savor the last chapter

until you get to

The End.


Reread the part

that is like your first love letter

that you keep in your closet

in a shoebox.

Open the cover again.


Beneath the first dedication or markings of ownership,

write your own (in pencil or pen respectively).

Don’t forget to write the year

because the next person will be curious.


Read the introduction.

© 2011 The Raven King

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as much as I don't like poems that have been written strictly for assignment purposes( ugh, when will professor's learn that true poets cannot be assigned poems, they will grow far less if told what to bleed cross the page), this one is a gem. It's functional, and clever. Congrats

Posted 13 Years Ago

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1 Review
Added on October 17, 2010
Last Updated on July 17, 2011


The Raven King
The Raven King


"Call me vain and proud, the greatest sinner ever to walk God's earth, but Satan's boy I could never be. I haven't the humility." -Urbain Grandier, The Devils of Loudon I am older than I look by a.. more..

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A Poem by The Raven King