Navigating Uncharted Seas

“He went to sea in a thimble of poetry.”- Poet Warning, Jim Harrison

The library is vast, it is wild,
an ocean uncharted
veiling the vileness
of sea-beasts
conspiracy, conflicts
collusion and vice
and if you
(despite my warnings) insist
on leaving the
dryness of fiction you
may find that even in
the shallow of essays
a treacherous outcrop
with ravenous riptides
is waiting to choke you
with murderous words.

But if you go to
the front-desk, stay silent
letting the librarian finish
his verses, he might throw
you a quote, a thimble
of poems, hand you a way
to set sail, crossing
the depths of deceits
and lackluster lies
reaching at last
the philosophy island,
where at last you safely
may swim
buoyant in balance of wisdom.

And later, when you are
back at the front desk
the librarian won’t ask you
or tell you his secrets,
just knowingly smile
as you hand back the thimble
that has grown to a ship.

The beasts of the sea, round like leather bottles (plate 22)
Odilon Redon

Today Linda is hosting dVerse with a prompt to use the words of poet Jim Harrison. My choice is also the quote, which made me think of my library and librarian.

January 25, 2022

26 responses to “Navigating Uncharted Seas

  1. Why is this making my cry? I love libraries and librarians. Your words and choices and the way you shape phrases has me all in a tangle. Thank you. This is fabulous. Oh – the thimble one brings back as a ship. I swear, I’m typing through tears.

  2. This is gorgeously worded, Bjorn! I especially love; “he might throw
    you a quote, a thimble of poems, hand you a way to set sail, crossing
    the depths of deceits and lackluster lies reaching at last the philosophy island.” 💝💝

  3. I think the Librarian makes the perfect subject for this line. I love the ending, with the thimble grown into a ship through the gift of knowledge!

  4. How imaginative this series is turning out to be Bjorn. Love how you make the library so contrary of what our image of a library is – wild, an ocean uncharted, into setting to sail to philosophy island.
    And I love that the thimble has grown into a ship!

  5. what a leap of imagination you made here – a library with a sea of books and some fine lines
    “crossing
    the depths of deceits
    and lackluster lies”
    I see the librarian as a quixotic figure, depending on how he’s approached

  6. Incredibly well-woven, the first few lines stunning, the library as that vast sea, but the way you brought the first stanza to a close was just masterful. A poem like this is more than a poem, and we are there, smiling at the antics of the librarian, trrying to see, or know what is in his mind…really, such poetry gives me a lot..

  7. The first thing I noticed after reading your wonderful poem is that we both chose the same artist to share. What are the odds? If I had the Aged Librarian at my library, I’d probably never leave it. I love the knowing look the two exchange at the end.

  8. Oh my word,this poem was downright awesome. I love the way you’ve compared a library to an ocean,yes,the librarian is the one person who would guide us through those treacherous waters full of words. Superb! 🙂

  9. reaching at last the philosophy island,
    where at last you safely may swim
    buoyant in balance of wisdom.

    Love the anticipation of success at the end of the day from the benefits of the librarian’s knowledge.

    Hank

  10. So brilliantly done Björn. Love the metaphor of the thimble becoming a ship. Your librarian is such a fabulous character.

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