PF: Between the Pages

This month Heidi posted our Inkling challenge. She invited us to “use the form” of the poem, The Lost Lagoon, by Emily Pauline Johnson (d. 1913) to build a “poem FOR CHILDREN about a treasured place that you return to again and again (geographical or metaphorical).”

There’s a lot to dig into in the mentor poem, and between my original draft and this final one, I seem to have drifted away from some of it (like the correct number of beats in my lines–oops!). Writing this poem has been a messy process and at this point it feels like it needs some time to simmer before I revisit it. I’ll put it on the back burner for a while, but here it is for now.

Between the Pages

I open the cover to look 
flip through the first pages inside
tantalized by the scents that arise
settle in, feel my worries subside.
Oh, the joy of a newfound book!

Halfway through I can’t stop to look
though someone’s been calling my name.
Printed words burst to life in my brain 
and I’m drawn like a moth to the flame
fully lost in the world of the book.

I turn the last page, then must look.
In the mirror my face seems the same
yet I feel fundamentally changed
my perceptions and world rearranged.
Lost and found in the world of a book.

©Molly Hogan, draft

If you’d like to read some other responses to this challenge, check out the links:
Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
Heidi Mordhorst at My Juicy Little Universe
Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche
Mary Lee Hahn at A(nother) Year of Reading

The Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted this week by Carol Varsalona at her blog Beyond Literacy Link.

27 thoughts on “PF: Between the Pages

  1. margaretsmn says:

    I still love that last stanza, the look in the mirror to see if you’ve changed as a book changes you on the inside. You did well with this challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. […] Heidi @ My Juicy Little UniverseLinda @ A Word EdgewiseMargaret @ Reflections on the TecheMary Lee @ A(nother) Year of ReadingMolly @ Nix the Comfort Zone […]


  3. Linda Mitchell says:

    Tee hee…the way you write about how there’s a lot going on in our mentor text is infinitely more diplomatic than the way I did. I learn and learn from you Molly. And, this poem is a wonderful ode to books. It would be a great poem to include with books you gift to young people. No pressure. But, your writing is a gift too.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. […] Mitchell at A Word EdgewiseHeidi Mordhorst at My Juicy Little UniverseMolly Hogan at Nix the Comfort ZoneMary Lee Hahn at A(nother) Year of […]


  5. I love this, Molly. “Printed words [do] burst to life in” our brains and this line is the perfect lead in to the next. “Drawn like a moth to the flame” is exactly what happens when I’m around books! It’s a miracle I get anything else accomplished!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      I remember so clearly realizing that I couldn’t read for fun in college because I wouldn’t get my other work done, would stay up to late, etc. One of best things about graduating from college was the freedom to read, read, read!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. lindabaie says:

    I love that ending, too, Molly, “fundamentally changed” is what happens. I’m going to print and display this at the bookstore! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. cvarsalona says:

    Molly, I like that you used a book as your favorite spot. I think you should bring your poem into the classroom for students to ponder. Those who grow up with books, probably have similar feelings about books. I know that I do. Love the last line: Lost and found in the world of a book.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Bravo, Molly. I would find a book high on my list also. Your poem inspires me to give this challenge a try… thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. heidimordhorst says:

    My library and your books make a nice pair, right? I really love how your poem makes a book a definite place with indefinite content, but with a consistent experience–and how you include sensory and extrasensory images. Good going!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. janicescully says:

    You have captured the joy of being emerged in a book. The mirror at the end comes as a surprise image and it feels so right. We are changed by the best books, I know I am.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. bmagee10 says:

    Your poem makes ‘scents’ Molly. I, too, am “tantalized by the scents” of a real book. E-readers leave me ‘flat’. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  12. maryleehahn says:

    I *hope* this is and always will be a poem for children. I fear that getting lost in a book is not as common these days for students…at least at school. This is also a *forever* poem because losing myself in a book and being changed by my reading are some of my favorite things to do!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Linda KulpTrout says:

    I feel the exact same about a new book! Thanks for this!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. What a grand place to be lost in, regardless of pain, sorrow, or disappointment that lie within its pages it’s a safe respite waiting for us…
    I like how your poem rhythmically carries and builds the same sense of urgency that Johnson instilled in hers, thanks Molly!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Janet F. says:

    Ah Michelle, your poem speaks to the power books have over me. I would spend all my days reading and having the words live in my heart forever. Time seems to pass and I barely notice. I surely understand exactly what you say here and I, too, want our future generations to understand the power of a book. Beautiful and maybe some tweaking but a really nice poem!


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