I guess only a writer knows what heights of excitement and depths of despair a book can throw you to… This poem, which I just drafted up while working on my ‘mess of a novel’, Paris of London, is a lyrical version of what I’m feeling.

This book!
I think I will tear my hair out.
He does everything I want
And when I don’t know what that is
He sits there and grins at me:

‘Hannah, Hannah, you are not troubled
About many things.
You are troubled
About me, and that makes me happy.’

This book!
I think I haven’t slept for two years.
He is a precious gem
And I know it, but sometimes I forget,
And he sticks his tongue out at me:

‘Hannah, Hannah, pitch me in the trash—
I dare you to.
What’s five hundred thousand
Hours of work to you anyway?’

This book!
I think I will die quite young.
He is like a mother’s son—
Over him I smile, I laugh, I weep in the night.
He cocks his tousled head and dashes away.

He thrills my soul
He feeds my imagination
He dampens my hope
He breaks my heart

I kiss him once again, and he smiles.
My thrilled, trampled, broken heart melts.
What is my health, my sleep, my life?
This book!
This book!
He is mine.

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