Reader’s Song

Version 2


Reader’s Song

I met a girl in a book—
a sister to me, my heart
sang to be so understood.

I met a girl in a book—
a stranger to me, my heart
sang to hear her melody.

Sister, stranger, girl, or boy—
in my heart their printed souls
find a voice and turn to song.


Last week I shared a septercet I wrote in response to Jane Yolen’s September challenge at Michelle Barnes’ Today’s Little Ditty. Like potato chips, septercets can be addictive, and I found I couldn’t stop at just one.

I’m sure the theme will be a familiar one to many of you. Readers need to be able to see themselves in what they read; they also need opportunities to read about other people’s experiences. For both reasons we all need more diverse books. The We Need Diverse Books movement and organization has brought new attention to this chronic deficiency.

If you haven’t already seen Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TED talk The Danger of a Single Story and Grace Lin’s TEDx talk The Windows and Mirrors of Your Child’s Bookshelf, you must. Both writers speak powerfully of their experiences with limited access to mirrors and with people who have had limited access to windows.

I’m at Poetry Camp at WWU this weekend! I couldn’t be more excited to see old friends, meet people I’ve only known on line or on paper, and take a good long time to celebrate poetry and children. I hope to share about that next Friday.

In the meantime, Happy Poetry Friday! Karen Edmisten has the round-up.


© Elizabeth Steinglass 2016

13 replies
  1. cvarsalona
    cvarsalona says:

    I know what you mean about the septercet form being addictive. It is a challenge but yours rings like a true narrative. I especially liked the last stanza with “in my heart their printed souls/find a voice and turn to song.”

  2. lindabaie
    lindabaie says:

    Yes, the books, picture and chapter, have shown us varied characters and stories, all as it should be. You’ve written this second septercet that feels like it is a punctuation to all the others about books and writing, Liz. Poetry Camp sounds awesome! Have a wonderful time!

  3. Linda Mitchell
    Linda Mitchell says:

    You are, quite literally, singing to the choir! I read to find myself…..but more to connect with others who I long to know. A lovely way to celebrate reading and to support a noble cause. Enjoy every moment of poetry camp! I’m counting on you to share hi-lights when you return!


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