The Reading Mother

I had a mother who read to me
Sagas of pirates who scoured the sea.
Cutlasses clenched in their yellow teeth;
“Blackbirds” stowed in the hold beneath.
I had a Mother who read me lays
Of ancient and gallant and golden days;
Stories of Marmion and Ivanhoe,
Which every boy has a right to know.
I had a Mother who read me tales
Of Gelert the hound of the hills of Wales,
True to his trust till his tragic death,
Faithfulness lent with his final breath.
I had a Mother who read me the things
That wholesome life to the boy heart brings-
Stories that stir with an upward touch.
Oh, that each mother of boys were such!
You may have tangible wealth untold;
……………………………………………………………Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be —
                                                                                            I had a Mother who read to me.
                                                                                            -Strickland Gillilan

I thought this was quite a beautiful poem. It was shared recently on one of my homeschooling loops I follow. I think I read it at the perfect time. We’re down to those last few weeks of school, and feeling a little less motivated. Though we continue to homeschool through the summer, it’s definitely more relaxed, and not as scheduled during that time. I’m looking forward to more leisurely days with the kids in the sunshine. We’re still quite busy right now, trying to do homeschool and spring cleaning at the same time can be quite stressful! Anyway, these last four lines of the poem are truly inspiring to any mother that reads to her little ones. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did. Do you have any reading rituals with your children?
artist: Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein


One thought on “The Reading Mother”

  1. It’s a sweet poem that sums up beautifully what we, reading moms, do. I’ve been reading to my almost 7-year-old son every night for the past 6 plus years. I keep doing it even now that he can read on his own. It’s our little ritual, when we get to sit close and dive into another story together. I want to hope that he will have warm memories of these quiet evenings filled with books and hugs.


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