Doors behind doors

The library is vast and it’s been said
that there are doors
that open into doors to rooms and halls
where shelves
are filled with books and scrolls.
Where you can find the future from the past.

When he was young the aged librarian
sometimes looked for keys
to hidden rooms where bones and books
would give him clues to hidden chambers
where texts not written yet were waiting for his hand
to seize its vein of rhymes;
but days have grown to months and years,
doors have closed and keys been lost.

He still keep a notebook, but
his ink has dried, and his hands are cold;
all he knows by heart are quotes from ancient days;
as a man of borrowed words
he still sees the doors but has lost the keys.

Copyright Björn Rudberg

For Brendan at toads. Also linking up to Poetry Pantry tomorrow morning.

November 18, 2017

42 responses to “Doors behind doors

  1. Poignant in the sad resignation of this figure, who yet clings as best he can to what once enriched and still somehow sustains him.

  2. How wonderful to read another installment of the aged librarian! 😀 I feel there are more layers and dimensions to his personality in this piece ❤️ especially love; “He still keep a notebook, but his ink has dried, and his hands are cold; all he knows by heart are quotes from ancient days;
    as a man of borrowed words he still see the doors but has lost the keys.” Beautifully rendered!❤️

  3. Kind of touching really. Perhaps this will happen to many of us…the ability to see the doors but no longer having the keys. I have empathy for this man!

  4. A library like that would be an amazing place to explore, but what power to see so much, to know so much, even what is still to come. I wonder if I would want to know.

    My sadness for the man is not so much not being able to open those doors as much as it is for the drying of his ink, and inability to write.

    Edit – fifth line, second stanza: Think you meant “were waiting for”
    and “sees” in the last line.

  5. A man of borrowed words… Wow! That is a singularly powerful image, as is the door opening onto another door. I feel akin to this aged librarian, more so than ever.

  6. texts not written yet were waiting for his hand
    to seize its vein of rhymes.. you go into overdrive when it comes to your aged librarian. Love the series.

  7. kaykuala

    as a man of borrowed words
    he still sees the doors but has lost the keys

    A demotivating and boring job. It takes strong personality traits to function well.. Perhaps one grade higher to a Light-house keeper

    Hank

  8. A truly rich and wonderful write Björn.
    How sad the final stanza- the dried ink, the retaining of nought but ancient quotes and the lost keys…
    Anna :o]

  9. I wonder if every avid reader has dreams of libraries, of hidden rooms and vast unfolding wings filled with books no one has read for centuries. There’s something about book-culture which is Alexandrian, we never lose a book we’ve read, it’s there somewhere in the vast behind reaches of the head. Until, alas, the Internet …

  10. I am sure a locksmith would help, but it is not about that is it? I feel that he has made a mistake in the past that he does not want to repeat.

  11. I enjoy these editions of the aged librarian. I have participated in dream work where we were asked to enter the library of time. The mission to find a portal of our own desire. This reminds me that the key is within us and we have the ability to open locked doors.

    You should make a small chap book about the aged librarian..

  12. Please tell me someone will find his keys and return them to him! That last stanza is a gripper.

  13. Lost keys are like a tragedy. The library is such a great place for a haunting or time travel.

  14. Ah, yes. I had many rooms in The Library, and had a key or two, and I have lost them too. Love this poem!

  15. I always enjoy a new installment in the aged librarian series, but this one was a particularly splendid extended metaphor, I think, to the impairments of old age and that which is surrendered in its advance.

  16. Oh, I always love the poems with the librarian. And the last line, “he still sees the doors but has lost the keys.” Really, the whole piece was beautiful.

  17. I would love such a place and can’t help but wonder if this is about the soul and love. We have all these possibilities and a story OUR story to tell but don’t let the ink run out before we get to tell it….out don’t know but thanks cuz obviously I loved it.

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