Everything and nothing

He knows by heart of apex moments,
battles and the cusps of past,
not from life or death but from the
pinnacles of books and voices
only he have glimpsed.

In his thinning hair he carries
graying sense of every sentence
bled from pages late at night,
and if you ask him for directions
he points at prose and shadows
and asks you for the time of day.

In his beard is trapped both
syllables and yolk of egg.
The aged librarian mirrors
every single word he’s ever read;
but still he’s dust and mildew
and a frosty Turner morning.
He’s everything and nothing.

Frosty Morning by William Turner

Kim wants us to write about when place and person becoming one and the same at toads. This is one of the things I have tried to achieve with my aged librarian, and I tried to convey this in my poem. I will also link up at Poetry United tomorrow.
—-
May 27, 2017

42 responses to “Everything and nothing

  1. I love this part:
    “if you ask him for directions
    he points at prose and shadows
    and asks you for the time of day”

  2. I’m always delighted to read about the aged librarian, Björn! I really love the lines:
    ‘In his thinning hair he carries
    graying sense of every sentence
    bled from pages late at night’;
    ‘In his beard is trapped both
    syllables and yolk of egg’;
    and
    ‘…still he’s dust and mildew
    and a frosty Turner morning’.
    I can picture him so well.

  3. Often we become so absorbed we become “one eyed” and live only within our obsession ignoring the world around us.

  4. As a tender of the mysterium, the librarian is the opener of books, the revealer of them, but is silent as to their contents; that is up to us to read. He is the Turner painting, richly of a place and yet leaving it up to us to write the poem about it. Nice take on the challenge.

  5. Oh, Bjorn, I’ve grown so fond of the old librarian, but I’ve pictured him as well-groomed, and I find the egg in his beard upsetting! lol Your word mastery never ceases to please me!

  6. I believe and I like when the person become the one with place he/she dedicated to… nice development for your ‘librarian project’.

  7. This is sumptous Björn . I especially Luv these lines
    “he points at prose and shadows
    and asks you for the time of day.”

    Thanks for dropping by my Sunday Standard today

    Much love…

  8. With all of your different takes on the ancient librarian, I really am going to have to meet him face to face someday.

  9. My goodness this is good! Especially love; “In his thinning hair he carries graying sense of every sentence bled from pages late at night.” Beautifully penned!

  10. Really like how you went about responding to the prompt. You made him come alive for me, could actually see him walking down the street, checking his timepiece for accuracy. Good stuff…

    Elizabeth

  11. When I read the second stanza, I thought–oh this is my favorite stanza–then I read the last one, and I thought–oh this is my favorite–now I just love the whole thing–I love when I react to a poem this way–made my day today!

  12. Beautifully done – how rich your words and images. I would like to meet him, and soak up his wisdom.
    Anna :o]

  13. Nice poem about your “librarian”, Bjorn. I could sense the surrounding very well, really a good job for the prompt. When you retire will you try for a second career as a librarian?
    ..

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