The librarian’s speech

You have passed me; as a ship
in search of its harbor
or as the wind turning my encyclopedia
pages from sage into sinner.
I know of your dreams, how you age
in the absence of verse:
I sense what you lack.

You have seen me between shelves
in the shadows of books,
and you know
that I keep all the answers,
to questions you never will find.

You know me as dust in the crypt
where words are kept hidden,
as fire, as sea,
as scent of the soil and the sound
of an apple-bud bursting in spring.
You know me as him,
who keep our library wild.

A Bust of an Old Man by Rembrandt

For the last prompt at toads we have a selection of old prompts to revisit, and I started by writing to Kerry’s prompt on Poetic Voice, and for once I thought I would let my aged librarian to talk for himself.

December 30, 2019

20 responses to “The librarian’s speech

  1. Oh my goodness Bjorn, I love the librarian’s voice! He knows that I age in the absence of verse. This is true, and he is so very wise! Love, love.
    I’ve been proud to stand up my poems next to yours and hope to continue doing so for a long time. xo MK

  2. Dear Bjorn, I have so long been in awe of your poetic voice, and especially that of your persona/ alter ego, the Old Librarian. There is something so measured in the pace of this poem, so wise, yet poignant in the observations. While so many people are oblivious to the necessity for archives and libraries, they are so fundamental to human progress and affirmation of not only collective consciousness but also intellectual property.
    I salute you for this poem, and for all you have given to the Real Toads. Your writing has been a constant source of inspiration for me.

  3. You have left me absolutely speechless with this one, Bjorn! ❤️ Especially love; “where words are kept hidden, as fire, as sea, as scent of the soil and the sound of an apple-bud bursting in spring.” 🙂

    Will definitely see you around the blogosphere! #realtoadsforever

  4. “I know of your dreams, how you age in the absence of verse:” Love that line. May the library always be wild and may we find toads in the catalog of poets. Your writing has always inspired me to dig deeper into my own ink.

  5. For one who has been absent from bloggery for quite a while, I can see here so much progress in expression, and a skill you have consistently improved. You show here plainly how much you have grown into your poetic voice. The analogies are honed gently, but the result is ever-sharp and the colors of moon and sun are the dust motes in this library’s beams. It has been the best, knowing you along this road.

  6. I am so glad to hear words directly from the aged librarian. He has been a fascinating reoccurring figure, and as others have said, an inspiring one. Thank you so much for all the thought provoking work you contributed to the Garden.

  7. Your aged librarian speaks with eloquence and great wisdom. I would enjoy knowing him. Or perhaps I do.
    Happy New Year.

  8. I dig this. The librarian, as mystic, as oracle, as literary-wizened guide to questions I never knew I had. Lovely work.

  9. Wonderful voice, so truly recorded – and the Rembrandt portrait so accurate a portrayal of him, too. Now we can engage with his reality and wisdom, not merely glimpse him between the shelves. I’m glad you’re thinking of giving him his own book. And I’m very much in favour of wild libraries!

  10. The soul that keeps “our library wild” might be the most wonderful mythological creature ever. Elusive and always present in the books, showing us what we might not want but need, just wonderful… And so perfectly your Librarian.

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