Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Poem: In the Library

First, a confession: Three of the women I love most on the world (my mother and two dear friends) are librarians. I believe librarians and libraries are holders of secret knowledge. Support them.

Second, diversions: I tell several stories set in libraries. I wish any of them conveyed this much mystery this easily. And when my sweetheart suggested he give a room of our apartment over to a library, I knew I was with the right partner.

Third, a journey: I discovered this poet tonight when I was looking for a poem about watermelon. You can read why here.

And that's enough exposition.

In the Library
by Charles Simic

for Octavio

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.

(c)2011 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License

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True Stories, Honest Lies by Laura S. Packer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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