The Library

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nottslinnet
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2014 2:08 pm

The Library

Post by nottslinnet » Thu Feb 06, 2014 8:08 am

The Library

I have always liked books; liked reading.
In my imagination, I have signed on for voyages
to bleached-out beaches, featuring cutlasses and scuttling creatures,
or got lost in the galactic void between my ears.
I have travelled a trillion miles
just by throwing myself backwards,
bed-wards, onto a pillow,
trusting in the darkness of the empty space
inside my head
to dot and stun the matrix of my thoughts with craft;
with comets, stars and mysterious beings;
And metaphorically I have paced in the silent, noirish night,
my own footsteps for my soul companions,
peering into darkened alleyways and casting round for traces, motives:
the stillness and tension punctuated only by low coughs
and the bark of distant discontented dogs.

Yes, I have always liked books.
Books bring thoughts to life sometimes,
but not quite in such a graphically novel way as this,
not until today.
Not until The Library
where I met you.
And I was both the hero and the villain of the piece
With my new world as alien as any green monster.
What planet am I on? What inventions?
When your gaze sliced through my best intentions like a laser,
pricking my chest, drawing blood;
piratical eyes glinting, hinting at treasures,
gazing at bags of gold in wonder;
or dragged into your arms by the Tractor Beam of your smile,
for farm-fresh pleasures, guttural growls and Hottentot clicks.
Whispering terms I only partly-understood, but liked
a language half-forgotten, a quarter heard
Just fractions of phrases of ancient power, like
’UGITH PERKAN!’;
and new words of love, that I can not recall

And you wonder why I do not read so many books now.
It’s because you are my perfect novel.
I can not put you down.

Arian
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Re: The Library

Post by Arian » Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:29 pm

I rather like this. Its relaxed expression results in a clear narrative, and there's quite a few admirable sequences. I particularly like the assonance of:

bleached-out beaches, featuring cutlasses and scuttling creatures,

and this...

I have travelled a trillion miles
just by throwing myself backwards,
bed-wards, onto a pillow,

is very evocative - a lot of us will recognise the feeling.

Do you really need metaphorically in l12? Isn't that a given?

If I have a reservation with the piece, I think it's that s2 seems to overwork a little, mixing near-cliché with slightly strained imagery.

Still, a lot to like - the ending is good, too.

Cheers
peter

Antcliff
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Location: At the end of stanza 3

Re: The Library

Post by Antcliff » Sat Feb 08, 2014 1:31 pm

Hi,

Yeh, entirely agree with Peter. I too liked the ending and main idea of the poem very much.

And the vivid first stanza. Although do you need this?
inside my head
But the second stanza did seem weaker than the first. For example, I doubt that..
Books bring thoughts to life sometimes,
is something we need to be told at that point.

Good stuff if the second stanza is worked on a little.

Best wishes,
Seth
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
Richard Wilbur

Jayne
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Re: The Library

Post by Jayne » Sat Feb 08, 2014 2:34 pm

I really liked this, not least because I identify with the subject of the poem.

Do you really need:

I have always liked books; liked reading.
In my imagination,
Surely, the poem implies this anyway? I think the poem starts here:
This part's great - it takes me back to my 8-year-old self:

I have signed on for voyages
to bleached-out beaches, featuring cutlasses and scuttling creatures,
or got lost in the galactic void between my ears.
I have travelled a trillion miles
just by throwing myself backwards,
bed-wards, onto a pillow,
trusting in the darkness of the empty space
inside my head
Re empty: your head's far from it! 'space' is enough, for me.
And metaphorically I have paced in the silent, noirish night,
I'd prefer 'I have paced the silent noir' or something like that - suggests the film played inside your head
I get that you're speaking metaphorically, so it's redundant.

Again, you don't need:
Yes, I have always liked books.
and do you need this (prosaic?):

Books bring thoughts to life sometimes,
but not quite in such a graphically novel way as this,
not until today.
Not until The Library
where I met you.
could become: 'In the library where I met you/I was both...

Re last 3 lines, the middle line is implied by the previous stanza. How about It's because I cannot put you down' as the final line?

Loved it!

Jayne :)

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