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In the Library

shelves full of books

Here are many voices. Each one silent
though full of words, waiting to be woken.
Some names and titles I recognise.
A few are friends from long ago, beside
the new arrived and unacquainted
most of them Ill never know.
 
Nothing so patient as the unread book
ready to release its store of story
eager description, gentle reflection,
anger, sadness, earnest instruction.
Some urging laughter. Others just trying
to make you cry.  Sealed up and silent.
 
As I draw near I begin to hear
all that talking in varied accents.
My index finger has the power
to bring to life.  It touches bindings
passing over young and old
still waiting in their tight assembly.
 
There they remain, heavily freighted
with authorial intention, their burdens
unopened, awaiting another to come
with reviving finger and voice to speak
their words.  Meanwhile inside their covers
they wait, weighted with so much to say.

Richard Westcott

If you have any thoughts on this poem, Richard Westcott would be pleased to hear them.

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