This cruel mother…

Recently, I had one of those mothering brainstorms that my children have become accustomed to, and to which they generally accede with grace under the not-unreasonable-assumption that my enthusiasm for the idea will peter our more quickly if they just go along with me.  Here's the idea: five nights a week, right after dinner and before the homework blitz, we each pick something to read out loud.

But because they don't like me to get off too easily, Middle usually announces that he has picked The Cruel Mother. We laugh and then everybody readily, if somewhat randomly, reads something outloud. The idea is that you don't practice, don't pick a poem in advance, don't even read the poem before you read it. Just open the book, stand up and read out loud.

We are now a few weeks in and I gotta tell you, this is a keeper.  Our living room coffee table now sports a few poetry books. This is a particularly good one for the task:

Essential Pleasures: A New Anthology of Poems to Read Aloud

But, hey, don't take my word for it, take Verlyn's…

Come to think of it, tonight I am going to read that instead of a poem. Will report back.


5 thoughts on “This cruel mother…

  1. We read out loud for years and years. Once, when I had to stop after reading fro hours, my girls asked if I was tired of reading, “No,” I answered, “I am tired from reading. My youngest, soon to be 18, still reads aloud what she has written. Precious!

  2. Sounds like a perfectly marvelous idea! I am green with envy.
    My mother used to read me Bible stories when I was little. My (ex) husband and I would read nightly to our two daughters.
    There’s no greater pleasure than having someone read to you. I WANT THAT.

  3. Aha! You sneaked back! You can never have too much poetry around. So far all I’ve managed is a few pages of Gary Snyder (very, very loudly) whilst they treated our bed like a trampoline one afternoon. Maybe when they’re a bit older…

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