Circular evidence

To live with sorrow, loss
to be be betrayed
walk on glass.

He was dirt-poor born
and fell in love

To live with sorrow, loss
to be be betrayed
walk on glass.

He was dirt-poor born
and fell in love
with literature.
He lived

in sordid company
of words.
He coped alone
in dust — victorious.

It’s circular I know
(cheating even),
but you
is one and every book
a portal to myself
(and love of libraries).

Stoner by John Williams

This is written to the book Stoner by John Williams. A short novel that have had a big impact on me written for Magaly’s prompt at toads. The main character has been an influence to my aged librarian. Maybe it’s a bit of cheating since it’s really dedicated through every book. I will also link up to the Poetry Pantry with this poem.
September 9, 2017

32 responses to “Circular evidence

  1. I’m already half in love with aged librarian. To learn that some of his soul comes from Stoner makes me want to run and grab my own copy (okay, I actually did just get a copy). The last stanza is glorious, and so true.

  2. The opening stanza and its repetition is so impactful – haunting, really. It dd give me pause as, so many people, I think, do live with sorrow. What must that be like? Of course we all know sadness, but to live with sorrow every minute of every day … every second an ache.

  3. There is a neat sort of musicality to this, especially in the the repetition of the the line “to be be betrayed”. I would like to learn more about the book that inspired your Librarian. 🙂

  4. What an amazing tribute. I can see how you pulled the aged librarian from this. I read it when I was about 25 and it so impacted my feelings of solitude and loneliness. I remember sitting by the koi pond in the back yard and reading this over a series of several days, watching the clouds drift by on the surface of the water. I wondered then what it would be like to live in loneliness.

  5. I love this beautiful poem – its imagery, its repetitions, its circularity…. The man on the cover of the book looks like someone who might age into your elderly librarian.

  6. Love the first lines and love “is one and every book a portal to myself” Great poem! I think that is not only with books but with people as well, or people in books lol” I have written the book down see if we’ve got it in our NZ library

  7. How right you are: Every book is a portal to one’s self. I despair when I hear a student say, “I don’t read books.” I want to say, “If you don’t read, child, how will you ever find out who you are?”

  8. Everyone finds their own way of dealing with sorrow, I think. And yes, I do think there is a circular aspect to it, and sometimes what we have to do is wait it out! I will have to check out the book “Stoner.”

  9. the circularity suggests you read this book many times – a terrific tribute Bjorn and am now tempted to read it too

  10. I gravitate to people who read a great deal, but I’ve observed those who don’t read seem to live in a narrow world. Great poem, Bjorn!

  11. “but you
    is one and every book
    a portal to myself
    (and love of libraries).”

    My favourite lines and happy to learn of the influence to the aged librarian

    Thanks for dropping by my Sunday Standard today Björn

    Much 😍 love

  12. I just saw this prompt –what a wonderful response–there is a wonderful sense of having this book as your companion in this piece for me–really beautifully written!

  13. ‘Dirt poor born’ rang true for many I knew growing up in rural Texas. I must include myself in that situation. The lucky ones found solace in books.

  14. Will add the book to my shelf. And I love this circular poetry. Thank you for introducing me to this form.

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