Sunday, October 20, 2013

Somewhere there's a book

A poem.  I seem to be averaging about one a year of those of late.  No matter, things wax and wane in importance, and I often think the world is running out of wall space for pictures and poems anyway.

Somewhere there’s a book.
The one you didn't write and never will.
Give me time, you always said,
to figure out the plot, but still
the story stays unfinished,
unedited, unbound, unread.

Somewhere there’s a book
stored. It’s not so much a case
of how we cook the books as how
the books cook us.  However rare
we think we are and like things,
we seldom can quite stomach ourselves raw.

Somewhere there’s a book,
she said. For sure, there were
ten thousand, maybe more,
floor to ceiling tapestried
with them, their mad-eye spines
lettered up and down regardless.

Somewhere there’s a book
you cannot find. Slipped between
its pages, barely readable, a letter
from one who only wished to see you,
and asked, not ‘who are you?’
but ‘who are you?’

Somewhere there’s a book
containing an account.  And does it hold
the things of worth, or tell the worth of things?
A talent is a tally is a tell;
the untold things might yet be read there,
counted, valued, told.


marja-leena said...

Somewhre there is a poem...

When it does find it's way out, the pleasure is ours.

Roderick Robinson said...

I read it several times and thought: I don't really care what anyone else thinks (even the author) but I'm hanging on to this: this thing de-romanticises books and the act of reading. It's badly needed. Too much froth is whipped up; the transports of delight approach; sentences in which "really" appears excessively; the oh-I'm-a better-person-for-that conclusion. We all need to be more hard-nosed.

The best books are usually hard work. There's often dismantling to be done and wrestling. Nobody tweets "Joy! Joy!" when they finish Gravity's Rainbow, they're inclined to look for a dark corner. Saying: in a week or two I may have a handle on that. Give me time for God's sake

Books, as the writer says, often cook us. We are transfixed by mad-eye spines. Facing the conundrum (things of worth vs. worth of things) we're damn glad to escape being labelled a cynic. Or worse. By the book itself. Untold things? Yeah, but only by taking the uphill path. Forget the Sunday paper reviews and the dust jackets, pray for understanding, stamina and resilience. And for guidance on getting past page 300 of The Brothers Karamazov on the fifth time of trying.

Dale said...

Oh. There's wall space for this, dear.

Lucy said...

Thanks chaps, for kind and thoughtful responses.

ML - your continuing faithful reading is always warmly appreciated.

Robbie - it's been in my head for a while, but I began to rough it out prompted by a post of yours - trouble is I can't remember which or why! Which makes me think perhaps the purpose of trying to go on doing this from time to time is as a kind of mnemonic for passing thoughts and impressions and responses. Your path through it isn't exactly mine, but that's just fine.

Dale - aww, thanks. I suppose wall space is endlessly folded into multiple dimensions these days...

marly youmans said...

I'd like to see your poems all together, Lucy, arranged as you see fit. And with some of your photographs. You should think about it...

And after reading Roderick Robinson's comments, I am feeling especially grateful for your interesting remarks on my last book!

Lucy said...

Marly - that means a great deal and is a huge compliment coming from you. I might yet think about doing a self-made book, but I'd probably want to give it away to all the people here who've been so kind and faithful and encouraging over the years, and there are so many I couldn't really afford to do that! Those little Blurb b/w small format books, like Natalie used for her last one, are quite reasonably priced, and can include images but only grayscale, once you start using colour pics it gets pricey. Something to think about, though they'd need some editing...

zephyr said...

this is a treasure, Lucy.
i am taking it with me
and sharing it.

Perhaps a digital "book" the form of a slide show, that opens like pages turning?
With a hand-holdable, self made one, on a limited scale?

Marly Youmans said...

Yes, Ms. Zephyr has a good idea! Publishers do that sort of thing all the time--multiple platforms, as they say...

HKatz said...

and asked, not ‘who are you?’
but ‘who are you?’

I loved the poem, but especially those lines.

The first stanza left me a little cold with fear :)