Born invincible

Born invincible
the aged librarian recalls
his lucid youth when every day
opened like the first page of a book
and every letter bold was
a soldier with a dandelion stuck
into the muzzle of his gun.
At night he slept on feathers
soft from foreign words.
He still could reach
the highest shelves,
and dive for sentence pearls
in the darkest, deepest of his rooms.

But since then
the dust have slowed him down,
no peaks remains to climb
and he only visits shallow chambers;
his knowledge now
is deeper than the dark of night,
but he talks in tongues
of books that none have read.
He sits alone and waits
to die invisible.

Don Quixote reading by Honore Daumier

Today Merrill hosts Poetics at dVerse and wants us to write about invisible. It made me think of the aged librarian and how his thirst for knowledge has made him invisible.
—-
February 5, 2019

29 responses to “Born invincible

  1. Love the youthful librarion as :At night he slept on feathers
    soft from foreign words, and dive for sentence pearls. This is a contrast to the aging librarian who now visits shallow chambers and talks in tongues of books that none have read. Hope we continue to see and read about him. A wonderful chapter in the Librarian series Bjorn.

  2. I’m so happy the aged librarian is back, Björn – and björn invincible! I enjoyed reading about his youth, sleeping on ‘feathers soft from foreign words’ and reaching the highest shelves’. I love that
    ‘his knowledge now
    is deeper than the dark of night,
    but he talks in tongues
    of books that none have read’
    but how sad to sit alone and wait to die invisible.

      • That reminds me of how Brian used to say he would one day just walk into the woods to die alone. Some of us are just wired that way. You and your librarian should do exactly what you feel. And I think the last poem you write about him will end with that girl befriending him again. Maybe she will have read the same books he has, even though they lived their lives apart.

  3. Oh, I love this, Björn. That invincible librarian, starting to feel his age, but how beautiful his youth : “At night he slept on feathers
    soft from foreign words” and the sentence pearls. . . And somehow, he seems alone, but content.

  4. Right on, brother, another stirring chapter in your Librarian series. The sad note for me is the close, for his great wisdom would/will arm him with the knowledge that spirit is never, cannot be invisible; the shell, the meat blanket shall expire, but the grand wisdom shall transcend and transition; smile.

  5. I really like the skillful rhyming scheme. It’s a technique that happens accidentally with my poetry sometimes but you’ve woven it so well here. The aged librarian resonates with me. Thankfully with the internet, there is a way to connect with those whose knowledge is “darker than the depth of night”.

  6. Such an absolutely exquisite poem this is, Bjorn! ❤️ I can picture the aged librarian recalling his youth and love the idea of it being ‘the first page of a book.” 🙂

  7. I have heard tales of your aged librarian poems. This is the first one I have seen since coming to d’Verse. A wonderful tale that happens too often with our elderly folks. Waiting to die has its way of making one invisable. Well Done!

  8. Oh my yes Bjorn, the waxing of youth followed by the waning of age. But it does make a wounderful cycle. You created some spectacularly great visual images. “and dive for sentence pearis.” Love it Bjorn!

  9. Oh the idealism of youth:
    “every letter bold was
    a soldier with a dandelion stuck
    into the muzzle of his gun.”
    a warrior of words – love this. How life turns that vision to cynicism, too late for anyone to care as we become invisible with age. I also thought of how libraries are being closed here, considered redundant – such tragedy.

  10. The Aged Librarian has had quite the journey. My favorite part Bjorn…

    He still could reach
    the highest shelves,
    and dive for sentence pearls
    in the darkest, deepest of his rooms.

  11. I love your “old librarian” series., Bjorn and this interesting transition from invincible to invisible; at first, I thought one of us misread the prompt 🙂

  12. I like your wordplay, moving from invincible to invisible. It’s something we all do, and if we live long enough, we get to see our own invisibility. Happy are those who embrace it.

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