Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Used poets

I make my way up rickety stairs
to the small room marked poetry,
a gabled space I cannot stand
up straight in but have to lean
and bend or crouch on my knees
to read the titled spines. The space
like the old house it hides within
smells musty, each book absorbing
and emitting the smell of its brothers
so that each bears a tattooed aroma
of where it has been. I see Frost
and Whitman, Dickenson and Homer,
Collins and Kooser and Eliot and
Wordsworth and then the one
I wasn’t looking for but found
anyway: Housman. Paperback
originally 50 cents published
in 1968 with a psychedelic cover
perhaps to appeal to psychedelic
students wearing paisley shirts
but it is still A Shropshire Lad
in all its elegiac, ballading,
songful, mournful glory.

This poem is submitted for Open Link Night at dVerse Poets. To see other poems, please visit their site. The links will be live at 2 pm Central time today,

Related: Words Cut like Jewels at The Master’s Artist.


Louise Gallagher said...


Claudia said...

wow nice..what treasures...and 1968 is surely a good year...smiles..i was born then...love the tatooed aroma..love the smell of books!!

Anne Higgins said...

I like it very much - the description of the poetry room is great - and the irony of clothing Houseman in a psychedelic cover is delicious! I was probably one of those students!

Brian Miller said...

nice...makes me think of the used book store near my house...i love to go there...i could live among the books....fun stuff glynn...

Anonymous said...

tattooed poet
covered in
shopshire paisley
bending spine
reading title

Jannie Funster said...

I want to read it!

And I know what you mean about having to tilt your eyes to the titles.

What a treasure trove of words here.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful connections to lots of the masters. You are becoming a master yourself, Sir Glynn!

S. Etole said...

Smiling at the picture this creates.

Maude Lynn said...

I can close my eyes and see it!

ayala said...

A lovely write, Glynn.

Unknown said...

You've captured perfectly here the experience of all those who love the written word. The date or state of the books or the place they are held only add to their charm; so much so, that when looking for a volume another inevitably whispers: "Take me!" Well done Glynn.

Pat Hatt said...

Truly brought the scene to life with this verse, 1968 hmmm unless I time travel your verse will have to do..haha

Ravenblack said...

That's a cool find. As is this poem. :)