Throughout this campaign we have been delighted to receive messages of support from many writers – amongst them poets. Some of these poets have kindly granted their permission to include their library-inspired poetry on the website – Enjoy!
Knit one pearl of wisdom by Marcus Moore
Inner contentment I find In the contents of pages Quietly speaking volumes Found on shelf and stand When rapt in rug snuggle Pleasures of the library A feast of fiction fable Manual music mystery map Drama DIY dictionary DVD For browwwsers explorers And chatterbook children Who see books like doors Widening minds eyes open To elsewheres everywhere
A knitted version of this poem has been created, which was unveiled in Yate Library on National Poetry Day 2010.
Marcus will be participating in the 5th February day of action as part of the ‘flying authors’ tour.
Ballad of the librarian who planted acorns by Katey Nixon
I went to the library and asked for a book to foster my spiritual growth and a kindly librarian said she could help and took one down from the shelf.
A shepherd who lived on a mountain in France a bare hill only heather and stone, he planted acorns, forty a day while tending his sheep alone
with faith in himself and the work he’d set to, for days into years undaunted by the immensity of the task with a vision in mind of the ten thousand trees he’d planted.
By the end of a decade when the forest had grown on the hillside that had been so bare the people came from all regions of France to look at his work and to stare.
This marvellous feat took root in my mind the book was an acorn in me my perspective in life changed on that day all thanks to my local library
The moral’s quite plain and it’s the reason we’re here protesting in this building today. They change our world one child at a time so all shout after me:
Libraries must be here to stay! Libraries must be here to stay! Libraries must be here to stay!
Katey will be taking part in the poetry day at Cheltenham Library on Saturday 5th February
Noisy Library by Peter Wyton
Welcome to the noisy library. This collection
of great works exists as a rejection
of that outdated concept, the ‘Nice Quiet read’,
which we have consigned to the Venerable Bede’s
monastic wheelie-bin. Every day, scores
of citizens flood through these doors,
select a book of their choice
and begin to give vociferous voice,
which is why I’m using this microphone,
otherwise I couldn’t possibly make myself heard
above the cacophony of the bellowed,
as opposed to the spoken word.
In this establishment, the staff don’t say, “ Shush.”
They yell, “ Oy mush! Here’s a first edition
of Francis Bacon’s Advancement of Learning.
Start turning the pages. Try to look a bit
more cheerful and give us an earful.”
We don’t want tedious, academic tossers
creeping around browsing. We want dossers
lurching in, carousing, spreading
their beer bellies all over the philosophy shelves
and really letting themselves go
on Jean-Paul Sartre and Aristotle,
in between swigs from the tequila bottle,
thoughtfully provided by the Senior Archivist,
who is, himself, more or less permanently inebriated.
Within a few feet of where we’re standing,
about thirty individuals are ranting away
perfectly happily from an assortment of titles.
My trained ear can detect recitals from
Shakespeare, Homer, Orwell, Shelley
and somebody seems to be giving particular
verbal welly to the unexpurgated version
of Lady Chatterley, that’ll be the Archbishop.
He pops in every Saturday. And on the occasion
when some eccentric actually wants to take
a book home, our Miss Newcombe head-butts
the borrower with her date-stamped forehead,
which you might think rather horrid,
but she’s got a 100% record behind her.
In 37 years, she’s never had to issue
a single second reminder. Which completes
our tour. Any questions? Lady over there
behind the potted palms? Banned books?
We never stock ‘All quiet on the Western Front’
or ‘Silence of the Lambs’!
Peter is a regular on BBC Radio Gloucestershire as the ‘Breakfast Bard’ and his poems appear monthly in ‘Cotswold Life’ magazine. He will be performing his work at the poetry day at Cheltenham Library on Saturday 5th February.