Today is Poem in your Pocket day. I will have two. This is one of them. I dare you to tell me it’s not a poem.
BEN OKRI (10½ Inclinations)
There is a secret trail of books meant to inspire and enlighten you. Find that trail.
Read outside your own nation, colour, class, gender.
Read the books your parents hate.
Read the books your parents love.
Have one or two authors that are important, that speak to you; and make their works your secret passion.
Read widely, for fun, stimulation, escape.
Don’t read what everyone else is reading. Check them out later, cautiously.
Read what you’re not supposed to read.
Read for your own liberation and mental freedom.
Books are like mirrors. Don’t just read the words. Go into the mirror.
That is where the real secrets are. Inside. Behind. That’s where the gods dream, where our realities are born. 10½) Read the world. It is the most mysterious book of all.
© Ben Okri 2006. All rights reserved.