Old Books

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.

it reads:
The terrible and true inner world is so great
The passages that wind 'tween love and hate
The pearls all lie where others have searched
Offside the boat the treasures all lurched;

They combed it all clean and mapped it all out
But the maps that they've made are just all about
The notions of political expediency
A bit more for you, if there's quite more for me!

And really we've all used quite the same words
And really we all move with all the same verbs
But none of it's similar quite a bit beyond that
What is a guide that makes more for a mat?

We must assure you now that we've made the right choice
We must be certain the past has no voice
And if it does it's like wind about rocks
'Black and white' and old as dead clocks.

Let me remind you of 'historicity'
And how artifice and wit had yet come to be
(At least not yet in any meaningful way)
Until about 1933 in May!

But the words all stand with their shadows in silence
Waiting and breathing with aboriginal violence
Till at last the cast of blithering stops
We think we may hear four sets of hoof-clops;

It is but the sound of what we should know
The lines mark the paths of where we should go
But before you deliver me one of those looks
I'll just go back and read more old books.


  1. Which old ones, dear? Although it's been said that "newness is no virtue and oldness is no vice," equally true is that mere oldness is not necessarily virtue either.

  2. Twelve Types by GK Chesterton.

    It suggests some other, older books to read. Thanks Gil!


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