When I was a kid, I used to love pulling my parents' old paperbacks, the ones they'd had since college, off the shelves. I loved the smell of them, the aura of brick halls and turtleneck sweaters, young love, and bright, adolescent intellectual endeavor. I read The Bald Soprano, the Odyssey, tried to read Freud and Kazantzakis and Ezra Pound. I wanted to be my parents' youthful promise, their love, the bright, ridiculously joyful smiles in their wedding photograph.
My mom and I both like Ezra Pound, my mom because she's smarter than I am, and gets the classical allusions and whatnots at some essential gut level, and me because I hope to be as smart as my mother someday. Because when I was eleven, his words held everything that was wonderful and hopeful about both the future and the past together in one small book.
And sometimes he's just pretty:
In a Station of the Metro
by Ezra Pound
The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.
Anyway. Happy birthday, mom!