3 S.R. Johannes: Poetry Friday: Ode to Librarians

Friday, February 06, 2009

Poetry Friday: Ode to Librarians

Special announcement:
Eternal Grand Prize Giveaway Package: in celebration of the Feb. 10 release of Eternal (Candlewick), author Cynthia Leitich Smith is giving away several prize packages, some including signed copies of the novel, tie-in T-shirts, finger puppets, stickers, guardian-angel tokens, and more! See details here.

Marketing Muse
Create an online Media Kit
An online media kit makes it easy for anyone to access information about you for interviews, articles, or reviews. Every published author should have a place on ther web site where people can download information. Include your photo, pic of your book, any reviews, links to interviews or podcasts, book exerpts or summaries, and bios.


Ode to Librarians
As some of you know, Feburary is Library Lover's Month. I remember going to the library when I was little=. In my small town of Vero Beach, Fla we did not have any book stores. I remember how much I loved the smell of old books.

Here is a poem I came across that touched me. hope you enjoy it and thanks to all the librarians for their dedication to reading.

Ode to Librarians by Hans Ostrom

Imagine you can consider all ideas
And images represented by all words
And numbers in all libraries worldwide.
Open the book of this consideration.
Touch the paper. See the illustration
Of you, reading, when you were ten
In your local library. Turn
Several pages. Now read how you
And that other person ignited romance
In, of all places, the stacks, third floor,
In quite a different library. Snowflakes
Brushed against dark glass as you two
Stood between PQ and PR.
Now go to the index. Find “possibility.”


Look up from the book. The librarian
Who looks away was watching you.
She knows how to phrase the question
You want answered.


Librarians know where wisdom’s stored.
They catalogue the countless forms
Of silence and tell people what they
Didn’t know they wanted to know.
They treat the mentally fractured

As if they’re whole, the dull as if they’re
Sharp, Winter as if it’s Summer.

A band of sunlight angles through high
Windows, brightens shoes of a librarian,
Who knows the patron in the gray enormous
Coat will steal a book about sex or wiccans.

She knows some Christians will steal books
Deemed Satanic, ignoring a commandment
And the homeless person sleeping in a chair.
She knows some atheists treat Library as
Church, so when she moves into shadows,
She does so quietly. She worries for books.


For the librarian knows books are easily burned,
Recycled, or digitized, reduced to oxygen, carbon,
Silicon, and such basic elements as hate and
Budgetary cuts. She wishes presidents of
The United States would consult librarians
Before going to war. It would save so much time,

So many lives. She knows exactly which references
Know how badly any war will go and how soon
Citizens come to loathe their leaders. She knows
How to find stories about all the libraries
Wiped out by war. She knows patrons who’ve
Been harmed by war. Sometimes they set off alarms.

Someone asks her, “Can you help me find out
If I’m related to Napoleon? ” Yes, ” she answers,
“Come with me, please.”

All libraries may now gather inside invisible
Electrons. After closing time, books in Sweden
Send emails to maps in Chile. A librarian in Topeka

Posts a reply to one in Tokyo, adding to a blue thread
Wrapped around the globe.


As sincerely as librarians worry for books, for shelves,
For catalogues, buildings, and best practices,
So should we worry for librarians, for images and ideas.
At a table in a library, a circle of light
Lies on a book. The hand not writing turns
The page, and something important happens.



Remember to come back Monday for our Marvelous Marketer -
Krista Marino - Editor at Delacorte!

5 comments:

Muser said...

Thanks for posting my poem. I appreciate it. The BBC used it on a radio program recently, a series called "Something Understood."

Lisa said...

Great tip about creating an online marketing kit on your site.

Carrie Harris said...

February was Library Lover's Month? How is it that no one at my library ever said anything about it? You'd think they would have programming or something for that.

Betsy said...

What, what, what? (Do you want South Park?) Anyway, didn't know (or forgot) that you grew up in Vero Beach... I am a South Floridian. Grew up in Palm Beach County and went to college in Boca. Do we know this about each other?

My elementary school librarian was Ms. Mills. I thought she was ten feet tall. Ran into her 5 years ago. She is only 5' 4''. Hee, hee. Loved her. I was a library helper :).

A. said...

I too grew up in South Florida...North Miami, as a matter of fact. I love librarians--especially children's librarians. The ones I've met are always so enthusiastic.