to a summer’s day?
Once, seemingly long time ago, I was window shopping on Kampala Road. Walked into Aristoc Bookshop, and started doing my usual browsing.
I was into novels. Naturally gravitated to the usual end of the bookstore. But, on the way, I thought I should look through some other books.
Hand took out at random a hard cover book. Found it was some literary commentary on Shakespeare’s Sonnets. The type of book I found naturally boring and a huge waste of ink. Or so I thought.
The book fell open on Sonnet 18, and, lazily, curiously, I read it. And, I have been hooked ever since. I read the Sonnets. Re-read those plays that I hadn’t read in a while. I started frequenting the more ‘literary’ ends of bookshops, looking for hardcore literature, something which amazed me at the time, given my taste in books then. I was used to benching a novel within hours. Literally reading it from cover to cover at one seating. But now, I discovered the joy of reading a verse, and letting it settle in the mind. A few grains of salt on the sea of my mind, to mull, and think about. To appreciate.
Sometimes afterwards, I was traveling. Remember had very little money, but with the time to enter a bookshop. And browse, as usual. There was this copy of Shakespeare’s sonnets. A ‘thrift edition’, and I triumphantly carried it home with me. A memento of a journey that I still carry. The pages are yellow-brown. Marked with my untidy handwriting with notes that I never read. Don’t know why I even put them down. Maybe a reminder of a long forgotten era of school and notes while reading…
I am into poetry. And I still find the Sonnets fascinating.
So, once in a while, I remember my ‘thrift edition’. Yes, I do have a newer book, but the older one is handy, dirty, bedraggled, and infuriating to my partner. And it is so handy that I would rather carry that with me when I am into reading the sonnets.
Today, I woke up to reading Sonnet 18…., or rather, I slept mulling on it, and woke up to it. My love, knowing that he would not be able to part me from it, took some tape and repaired the spine, which gave up spinely duties about a couple of years ago.
Beautiful writing. At one time I did hope that I could write as well. Like looking to the moon, to have and to hold, the sun a crown round ones head.
These days I am less idealistic. Will settle for re-reading the bedraggled sonnets line by line. Mull them over, and write a few lines now and then in another book. The world cup is on. Naturally, the whole city is asleep when an African team, or any of the big ones, is playing. Ghana is coming up with a win as I finish writing. Sigh…. why aren’t I that into football? But, I do declare the men look beautiful.
Oh, did I tell you that I am gay?!