Reading is No Sin

I’ve never heard a mockingbird,
a New World multilingual,
and I’ve never seen one fly.

But I have climbed inside
numberless books, read
numberless words, breathed
numberless characters’ lives,
walked around in their skin
and thought their thoughts.

Characters are the only kind
of folk I ever felt comfortable
with, willingly lent my reader’s
ear, ever hopeful to hear
the echo of a mockingbird.

Kim M. Russell, 28th April 2020

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My response to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads NaPoWriMo Day 28 Play it Again in April 2020: Harper Lee

On Sunday, April 28, 2013, Kerry asked us to take Harper Lee as our source of inspiration and, with no further instructions or restrictions, to focus our writing on a theme, quote, character or personal experience related to To Kill a Mockingbird.

I’m merging this prompt with Kerry’s Skylover Wordlist, sourced from Dylan Thomas’s poetry collection Deaths and Entrances, from which the twenty-eighth word is ‘numberless’.

20 thoughts on “Reading is No Sin

    1. It’s a long time since I last read Mockingbird, but I did see the play in Norwich some years ago, which was excellent. But I will always think of Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I tried to make a video for you today. I was out walking, and a mockingbird was at the top of a pole doing all sorts of other birds’ calls, but when I started to record, it flew away. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  1. “Characters are the only kind of folk I ever felt comfortable with,”.. sigh.. I so relate to this one, Kim! 💝 Gorgeously rendered 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I always hear mockingbirds where I live here in Texas. To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my favorite books, and Gregory Peck will always be the only Atticus for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Read to know. Our momma mocking bird has a problem. Two of her eggs hatched over a week ago but the rest must be infertile, she won’t leave her nest. Similar to the feeling of the still born’s mother I would guess.

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  4. Isn’t there a saying….if you are a reader, you will never have a boring day in your life. I do think that’s true. Like you, I enjoy getting into the skin of some of the characters I’m reading about….some evenings I just can’t put the book down. A “real page turner” to me means the characters are alive in my head! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The way Americans feel when reading about nightingales.

    Mockingbirds really do seem to “mock” at times–to choose their imitations to get an audience reaction, anyway. I knew one who would be up in a tree imitating other birds when I’d come out, and then, seeing a human, do his human imitation saying “Hey, cutie! Tweety-bird!” I once saw another one, at the end of a cicada season, alight on a rail beside other birds and make a noise like a cicada just to see who would look around hungrily. And my mother used to have a patient who had learned to use a cell phone; the phone became the dotty old lady’s favorite toy, but she was always forgetting where she’d laid it down, and her resident mockingbird would perch outside the window and imitate her phone, then watch her get up and look for it. This gave her regular exercise and increased her chance of taking a call when a call really came in, so nobody blamed the bird!

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