Framing the Dialogue

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

perks of being a wallflowerJuly 24, 2013

Dear friend,

I am writing about this wonderful book that I just read.  I know you’ll think it unlike me to read such a book, but my daughter compelled me to first watch the movie and then read the novel, The Perks of Being a Wallflower.  Written by Pittsburgher, Stephen Chbosky, Wallflower is a series of letters written by wallflower, Charlie, as he enters his first year of high school.  You probably won’t be surprised that it didn’t go well for Charlie until he met some unusual and unassuming classmates.  With over 1.5 million copies in print Charlie’s letters are all at once sad, tragic, inspiring, happy, shocking, and devastating and I wanted more.

It is one of those books I could not put down; I rushed toward the end to see if it ultimately was a tragedy, comedy, or just a drama.  I both wanted it to end (and end well) and again didn’t want it to end.  You’ll make your own decision as you NEED to read this compelling book.  It would seem to be written for folks my daughter’s age, but there is so much from my generation that made it pertinent to me.  That is great writing! I have read some great books lately, but none of them captured me like this novel.  I remember experiencing the Rocky Horror show when I was in college.  It was a strange and fun night and I couldn’t wait to go again.

It is my favorite book.

Here is a poem from the book that is compelling and it will have more meaning once you read The Perks of Being a Wallflower…

Once on a yellow piece of paper with green lines
he wrote a poem
And he call it “Chops”
because that was the name of his dog
And that’s what it was all about
And his teacher gave him an A
and a gold star
And his mother hung it on the kitchen door
and read it to his aunts
That was the year Father Tracy
took all the kids to the zoo
And let them sing on the bus
And his little sister was born
with tiny toenails and no hair
And his mother and father kissed a lot
And the girl around the corner sent him a
Valentine signed with a row of X’s
and he had to ask his father what the X’s meant
And his father always tucked him in bed at night
And was always there to do it

Once on a piece of white paper with blue lines
he wrote a poem
And he called it “Autumn”
because that was the name of the season
And that’s what it was all about
And his teacher gave him an A
and asked him to write more clearly
And his mother never hung it on the kitchen door
because of its new paint
And kids told him
that Father Tracy smoked cigars
And left butts on the pews
And sometimes they would burn holes
That was the year his sister got glasses
with thick lenses and black frames
And the girl around the corner laughed
when he asked her to go see Santa Claus
And the kids told him why
his mother and father kissed a lot
And his father never tucked him in at night
And his father got mad
when he cried for him to do it

Once on a paper torn from his notebook
he wrote a poem
And called it “Innocence: A Question”
because that was the question about his girl
And that’s what it was all about
And his professor gave him an A
and a strange steady look
And his mother never hung it on the kitchen door
because he never showed her
And that was the year Father Tracy died
And he forgot how the end
of the Apostle’s Creed went
And he caught his sister
making out on the back porch
And his mother and father never kissed
or even talked
And the girl around the corner
wore too much makeup
That made him cough when he kissed her
but he kissed her anyway
because that was the thing to do
And at three A.M. he tucked himself into bed
his father snoring loudly

That’s why on the back of a brown paper bag
he tried another poem
And he called it “Absolutely Nothing”
Because that’s what it was really all about
And he gave himself an A
and a slash on each damned wrist
And he hung it on the bathroom door
because this time he didn’t think
he could reach the kitchen

Love always,

Greg

Leave a comment

Use basic HTML (<a href="">, <strong>, <blockquote>)