In the ruins of the last library

when all went silent;
after words turned ash,
the last remaining pillar fell
and mortar
crumbled into dust,
the aged librarian
mumbled verses from his dying books
turned skyward, cloud-gazed,
stumbled as he turned and left;
leaving only footprints in the sand
that once was kingdom, library:
that held the answers
    we have lost.

The Temple by Tomasz Zaczeniuk, Used with permission @fotowizjer

The desolation of the picture made me continue to write about the last books and our guardian of poems. This is a 55 word flash for Kerry at toads.

March 2, 2019

16 responses to “In the ruins of the last library

  1. The voice of this poem is as defeated as the image suggests, but I love the vestige of hope in ‘the aged librarian
    mumbled verses from his dying books’. Perhaps when all else fails, the oral tradition will persist, in however humble a form that may be.
    At school we have an annual festival for the recitation of prose and poetry, so that ‘learning off by heart’ is still a thing to be rewarded.

    • Maybe we should restart the tradition of retelling stories… Personally i believe that poetry needs to reinvent the tradition of storytelling, and learning by heart is a great reason for using poetry to tell stories

  2. Pingback: The last library on earth | Björn Rudbergs writings·

  3. Bjorn, I’m glad to see the return of your old librarian. I hope he finds a better, more ptomising place to work for his next job.

  4. A fine fin-de-siecle Bjorn! Hope the aged librarian forgot to lock up when he left, so that dust and words become silence …

  5. This is incredibly emotive, Bjorn! I can see him mumbling verses and cloud-gazing.. such a unique response to the prompt! ❤️

  6. Oh, I love this take. I don’t think people really understand what it means to lose a library.

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