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Friday, April 23, 2021

Poetry Friday: World Book & Copyright Day


Quote from Plato: “Books give a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.”

Today is Unesco's World Book and Copyright Day. I was fortunate enough to start my educational life at a school that encouraged reading, and it was there that my love of story took root. 

Quote: Reading well is one of the great pleasures that solitude can afford you." by Harold Bloom

Mine was a fairly solitary childhood, but with a book, I could enter the worlds of the characters I was reading about, and they became my companions. 

Quote: Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination and the journey. They are home. by Anna Quindlan

I read about dragons, sentient space ships, and the life of a family in political exile. 

I read books set in space, fantasy worlds, Siberia, England and New Zealand. 

I read books by contemporary authors, and authors long dead. 

I read poetry and prose, fiction and non-fiction. 

Quote: Books are for people who wish they were somewhere else. by Mark Twain

Books took me on journeys through time and space and around the world, and all the while offered me a safe place to curl up in when I needed it.

Once I was showing our neighbor our apartment (we have the same floor plan and she wanted to see how we were using the space). When we came around the corner to the study, she gasped. "You have so many books!"

I looked at the study, seeing not just the wall of bookshelves crowded with books, but also all the books we had to leave behind when we moved internationally - those former companions on our life's journey with whom we had to part ways. 

Our paths diverged - theirs taking them to the Friends of the Library store, to find new people to transport and inspire and educate and comfort; ours taking us to new homes, some of them in in the places I had read about in those very books. 

Today is not just World Book and Copyright Day - it's also Poetry Friday. A day for taking a virtual journey through the blogosphere, when poets share poetry on their own blogs and visit the blogs of other participating poets. 

So today I'm celebrating both World Book and Copyright Day and Poetry Friday with a Didactic Cinquain poem about books. This variant of the Cinquain form of the poet Adelaide Crapsey is often used in educational settings, when teaching children about poetry. An internet search will show you there are slight variations in the line content of Didactic Cinquains, but all use a 5-line form: 
  • Line 1: One word, that is also the title
  • Line 2: Two adjectives that describe the word in line one
  • Line 3: Three words that give more information about the subject 
    • [alternatively, three gerunds -ing verbs - that show the action of the subject]
  • Line 4: Four words (individual words or a phrase/sentence) that show emotion about the subject 
    • [alternatively, that describe another aspect of the subject]
  • Line 5: A synonym of the title or a word very similar to it.

Paperback. Pixellated.
Engrossing, enlightening, inspiring.
My companions through life.
(c) 2021 Elisabeth Norton

This week the host of Poetry Friday is Catherine at Reading to the Core. You can hop over to her site to find links to all the other poets participating in Poetry Friday.


  1. I'm with you about books. I enjoyed knowing that this is two special days & love the quotes!

  2. Hooray for books! Good to meet you here at Poetry Friday!

  3. Hi Elizabeth. Your cinquan is a delight and I appreciate you telling us about the form. I didn't grow up around a lot of books, so found them in the library and going there was thrilling for me. Thanks for sharing your poem.

  4. "Guidebooks" indeed, Elisabeth! I love your cinquain and Mark Twain quote - my mantra for the last 14 months! Welcome to Poetry Friday! :)

  5. I live in a house filled with books...I'm with you!

  6. Your cinquain is perfect! We couldn't ask for better "companions for life!"