Thursday, October 11, 2007

Duke Altum's Poem of the Week #57

Here's one for all true book lovers out there... some wonderful imagery in this poem from Charles Simic, the recently-named Poet Laureate of the United States. I love the idea of untold riches lying in wait within 'dark unopened books,' if only we would take time to pull them off the shelf and explore them... then again, more and more these days we are not doing so. And the poem brilliantly gives us a glimpse of what it is we're missing...

"The books are whispering"... we must slow down, quiet ourselves and try to hear what it is they're saying. Is it too much to say that our very souls depend on it?


In the Library

There's a book called
"A Dictionary of Angels."
No one has opened it in fifty years,
I know, because when I did,
The covers creaked, the pages
Crumbled. There I discovered

The angels were once as plentiful
As species of flies. The sky at dusk
Used to be thick with them.
You had to wave both arms
Just to keep them away.

Now the sun is shining
Through the tall windows.
The library is a quiet place.
Angels and gods huddled
In dark unopened books.
The great secret lies
On some shelf Miss Jones
Passes every day on her rounds.

She's very tall, so she keeps
Her head tipped as if listening.
The books are whispering.
I hear nothing, but she does.

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