an updated version of this post appears in my book THINGS ARE WHAT YOU MAKE OF THEM! 13 full-color chapters of illustrated essays like this for creative people of all kinds. you can get it here for $10.
Know your worth. Know your value. Stop trying to impress or convince someone who doesn’t care. Focus on the people who are willing, able and receptive. You can’t waste time on someone who doesn’t love or respect you. Do your thing and let the rest happen (or not.) Come back any time you need to read this again.
so it’s canon that Niall Lynch loved W.B. Yeats’ poetry right? I mean he has a line (from my favourite poem) hanging over his bed. so if Niall insisted on reading Alice in Wonderland to his kids, that means he introduced them to his favourite poetry too?
Ronan has one worn out copy of poems left over from his father. the spine is cracked and the cover peels but it has the fingerprints of three generations on its pages. and it doesn’t smell like a dream book.
he reads to Opal during the day, when she is anxious and wound up and refuses to eat or sleep or even look at Chainsaw. she rests her head in his lap while he reads to her, and curls her fingers tighter around his when he tells her “the boughs have withered because I have told them my dreams”
when the pig pulls up into the front yard of the barns past midnight, Ronan will rise from his armchair (they always coordinated their insomnia) and take the book from the shelf. he meets Gansey on the porch and they sit on the edge, legs dangling, as Ronan talks of Sailing to Byzantium and Rising and Going to Inisfree, being anywhere other than inside their own heads.
he keeps his favourite ones for Adam. he speaks of stolen children when they lie before the fireplace on rainy nights, being lead astray by fairies and their promises. he tells Adam about his history when they walk the fields at dusk, Easter 1916, the regrets of broken bodies, and all the men they lost. finally, at night, when the moon is their only source of light, they lie in bed mere inches apart, as Ronan gently touches Adams cheek, then his jaw, and finally his lips, and he barely whispers “and a softness came from starlight, and filled me to the bone.”