Saturday, June 11, 2016

Public Libraries

I love libraries always have, they are places where I found adventure, life and humour as I was growing up. One of the highlights of the week when I was growing up was a visit to the public library, to search out the next adventure. Libraries continue to enchanted the literary imagination generation after generation. 

One of the most marvelous manifestations of that enchantment comes from beloved poet, activist, educator, and queer icon Nikki Giovanni (b. June 7, 1943)
Giovanni’s 2007 collection Acolytes (public library) includes three absolutely lovely poems celebrating libraries and librarians — please enjoy.

This is my first memory:
A big room with heavy wooden tables that sat on a creaky
wood floor
A line of green shades—bankers’ lights—down the center
Heavy oak chairs that were too low or maybe I was simply
too short
For me to sit in and read
So my first book was always big
In the foyer up four steps a semi-circle desk presided
To the left side the card catalogue
On the right newspapers draped over what looked like
a quilt rack
Magazines face out from the wall
The welcoming smile of my librarian
The anticipation in my heart
All those books — another world — just waiting
At my fingertips.

(for Kelli Martin)
a Library Is:
a place to be free
to be in space
to be in cave times
to be a cook
to be a crook
to be in love
to be unhappy
to be quick and smart
to be contained and cautious
to surf the rainbow
to sail the dreams
to be blue
to be jazz
to be wonderful
to be you
a place to be
yeah… to be

No comments:

Post a Comment