Poetry corner

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 Moore's 'Knit one pearl of wisdom'

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.

This entry was posted in Good News Stories, letters, Support for Friends of Gloucestershire Libraries. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Poetry corner

  1. We wanted to share a short campaign film with you that we have made about the proposed library closures in Somerset, which we hope may support your campaign too.

    You can find it on You Tube:


    With best wishes

    Kevin Redpath

    (on behalf of the WeLoveLibraries production team)

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