The speaker would use reading to get away from different things such as school and bullies. He didn't care if reading ruined his eyes because in books he could imagine anything and escape reality. He could imagine being cool and fighting the bullies "twice [his] size" (line 6). Later on, during adolescence, the speaker liked reading darker books. His eyes were so bad from reading he had to get spectacles. He enjoyed the evilness of "cloak...fangs"(l 9) and humiliating women. Now, in the present, the speaker doesn't read anymore because the stories are too closely related to his issues. He can no longer escape his problems regarding his lousy life. So, the speaker condemns books altogether and believes they are worthless.
The theme of the poem is that escapism and ignoring reality only makes life less fulfilling.
The speaker in the poem is a persona, speaking in first person. The persona is imaginative. He imagines a fantasy world where he could be cool and "deal out the old right hook" to his bullies. (l 5). The persona is also lonely. In the final stanza the speaker realizes that he doesn't know how to face reality. His whole entire youth was created through fictional books. Now, the more mature books, underscore his lonesome. Additionally, the persona is resentful. During his childhood books were of so much value to him. They were worth "ruining [his] eyes" (l 3). But the books in that time were fictional, and most likely of superheroes and other fictional idols. Later on, the persona realizes he is not equipped for reality and believes "books are a load of crap" (l 18). The speaker's tone is disappointed and bitter.
There was a smooth, harmonious quality in the beginning stanza due to Euphony. This underscored how easygoing and fantasy-like childhood can be. Also, there was alliteration in line 6. The text "dirty dogs" was symbolism of the persona's bullies. This alliteration illuminated upon the name flippant calling present in youth. Additionally, the poem...