Accidental Poetry

I came to the library with intentions of finishing Dante’s Paradise and therefore getting ahead on my homework, but I made the dire mistake of listening to one of my all-time favorite orchestra pieces, Ralph Vaughan Williams’ “The Lark Ascending.” (Stink it, Dante! You distracted me with “as a lark wheeling in the open sky”…curse your beautiful Homeric similes!) As I listened to the gorgeous melody of the violin and the ebb and flow of the orchestra beneath, I could not help but notice with a musician’s delight that the soft scratching of pens, the thunk of books falling shut, and even the breathing and movements of those around me fit into the music with a strange ease. The sunlight filtering through the windows and the echoing stillness of the reading room also fit the purity and crystalline quality of the piece and my first instinct was to reach for my manuscript paper and write the symphony of the library. That was a little ambitious, though, as my composition skills are lacking. And so my fingers, twitching in time to the music and longing for my violin, did the next best thing; they grabbed a pen and wrote the library’s melody not in notes but in words.

I’ve already put a disclaimer on my poetic talent…namely that I have none. However, perhaps because I feel empowered by the movement of Williams’ music or perhaps because I am simply losing some of my artistic shyness, I decided to share my little scribbling.

Library Symphony

In the silence there sounds

The harmony.

Of a thousand thoughts.


They are muted by covers,

Yet I feel them

Pulsing in rhythm.


The novels strike chords.

Fantasy flows,

Transposing the soul.


Bass lines of histories

March steadily,

Sustained through the rest.


Above ring the poems’

Melodies sweet.

In tones, violins.


For percussion, pencils,

Closing hardbacks,

And tiptoes down rows.


The writers, composers;

Their scores here kept

For us to conduct.


For we are the singers,

Our minds the lyre,

Of word symphonies

That only we hear.

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