the raven in the tub

Two nights ago I decided to read poetry to my son while he was taking a bath because A. it is very difficult for him to escape when he's in the bathtub, and B. why not?

The poem I chose was "The Raven," by Edgar Allen Poe, which is of course perfect bathtub reading for a five year old.

"I think I'm going to read you some poetry now," I said, as I sat on the toilet-seat with my tattered Collected Book of Verse.

"What's poetry?" the boy asked.

"Well, it's an artful arrangement of words, where you put them together in a beautiful way that engages the emotions and paints pictures in your head."

"There are pictures?" he said, straining to see the pages of my book.

"Not exactly," I answered, "The pictures are in your mind - your imagination. The poet writes words in a way that makes you see things."

"Hmmm." He thought about that.

I began to read. "Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary..."

I was about seven stanzas in when he rudely interrupted, "Dadu, dadu!" he said.

"What?" I asked, a hint of annoyance creeping into my voice.

"Excuse me," he went on, "but I have something important to tell you... you were right!"

His excitement was palpable, so I sighed and said, "What--what was I right about?"

"You were right about the pictures, Dadu! I can see them! I can see them in my head! I see the raven on the chamber door!"

Well, now.

I think we can all see how impossible it would be for me, as a father, to not at that very moment fall deeply and irrevocably in love with my progeny. I read on, and wasn't even bothered in the slightest when he next interrupted my impassioned delivery, to tell me all about "the room full of angels," and so on.

And shall I love him...? Evermore!


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