Night Vision

In the afternoon glow
the shadows enter the library,
they crawl
they slither
from the innermost sanctum
among shelves and displays
over dog-eared pages
kisses the fingers of the visiting few
touches the minds
of the young readers still believing
that verse can progress the world
until at last, they reach
the aged librarian
resting at his favorite place
by the westernmost window.

He’s been dreaming,
recalling the visions he had
of revolutions and change
of brightness and love
of reason and lust
in the folly of youth.

Then you mature,
grow stiff as you fatten from facts,
and over-ripe, stuffed
you teach instead of letting yourself
being taught,
and one day you sit there at dusk
cursing the books that filled up your mind
with history’s thinking
forgetting the visions that knowledge suppresses.

The librarian welcomes the shadows
welcomes the night
with its potential for dreaming,
forgetting the evidence brought on
by reading,
and maybe at night, he revives
enters the garden
carried by dreams of his youth.

Magic Garden (Night Vision)
Konstantin Somov

Ingrid hosts dVerse tonight with a prompt on visions and dreams. This prompt immediately woke the aged librarian for me.

January 10, 2022

30 responses to “Night Vision

  1. You really capture the spirit of the prompt with this poem, Björn:
    ‘over-ripe, stuffed
    you teach instead of letting yourself
    being taught’
    – a play on the idea that ‘our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting.’ It’s great to know that the librarian has not entirely forgotten!

  2. This is absolutely exquisite, Bjorn! I especially relate with; “Then you mature, grow stiff as you fatten from facts, and over-ripe, stuffed you teach instead of letting yourself being taught,”.. sigh yes .. it is that way. isn’t it? 💙💙

  3. Thank you, Björn, for rousing the librarian from his slumber – I hope he never retires. Your Night Vision is satisfying in a dog-eared way. I love the movement of the shadows, ’the young readers still believing that verse can progress the world’, and the aged librarian recalling visions while realising that he has grown stiff and over-ripe, ‘cursing the books that filled up your mind with history’s thinking’. I like the final twist, when he ‘enters the garden carried by dreams of his youth’.

  4. A Gothic (or fin-de-siecle) darkness in the shadows that have crept into the aged librarian’s reverie. End of an era. Archly and dreamily writ, Bjorn.

  5. One of your best ever, Björn, as the Librarian comes more into focus, an enigma with a human mien, full of compulsion, yearning, regret, dreams and visions of ageless beauty.

  6. Enjoyed the visions of the librarian, I loved these lines,
    “and one day you sit there at dusk
    cursing the books that filled up your mind
    with history’s thinking
    forgetting the visions that knowledge suppresses.”

  7. An affecting awareness narrative, very well done. This librarian’s perspective carries much value.

  8. Too orderly is too close to sterility. Just when you think you have it all figured out here comes an epiphany. I’m glad he welcomed the dream shadows in to play. The escape from the trap and into the garden is titillating. Oh the freedom as the chill night air brushes his hot skin.

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