Bookish Poetry: 'I Opened a Book' by Julia Donaldson

Bookish Poetry: 'I Opened a Book' by Julia Donaldson

Wednesday, 9 October, 2019

English writer and poet Julia Donaldson has an output that might make you question just what you’ve been doing with your life.

Not only does she speak English, French, German, and Italian, she’s published more than 184 books. Before becoming a full-time author, she wrote songs for children’s television.

In 2011, she was made a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for services to literature — then in 2018, she was upgraded to Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. But to millions of kids, she’s the lovely lady who wrote the rhyming stories they love.

In this poem, she perfectly captures the way exceptional books can transport us to somewhere new.


I Opened A Book

  • I opened a book and in I strode
  • Now nobody can find me.
  • I’ve left my chair, my house, my road,
  • My town and my world behind me.
  • I’m wearing the cloak, I’ve slipped on the ring,
  • I’ve swallowed the magic potion.
  • I’ve fought with a dragon, dined with a king
  • And dived in a bottomless ocean.
  • I opened a book and made some friends.
  • I shared their tears and laughter
  • And followed their road with its bumps and bends
  • To the happily ever after.
  • I finished my book and out I came.
  • The cloak can no longer hide me.
  • My chair and my house are just the same,
  • But I have a book inside me.

Julia Donaldson

Top image courtesy of Annie Spratt.

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