In the Reading Room
By David Ferry
Alone in the library room, even when others
Are there in the room, alone, except for themselves:
There is the illusion of peace; the air in the room
Is stilled; there are reading lights on the tables,
Looking as if they're reading, looking as if
They're studying the text, and understanding,
Shedding light on what the words are saying;
But under their steady imbecile gaze the page
Is blank, patiently waiting not to be blank.
The page is blank until the mind that reads
Crosses the black river, seeking the Queen
Of the Underworld, Persephone, where she sits
By the side of the one who brought her there from Enna,
Hades the mute, the deaf, king of the dead letter;
She is clothed in the beautiful garment of our thousand
Misunderstandings of the sacred text.
Poetry Wednesday is supposed to begin again today, but a few days ago my laptop started acting funny--the trackpad is going bonkers and I cannot do any writing. So I am reduced to plunking this out with my index finger on my iPhone. For the record, the blogger app has been given a 2.5 star rating by users. I am quickly finding out why. But somehow blogging via phone feels inherently wrong so I forgive the blogger app its ineptness.
Thankfully I copied out the above poem days ago, before my computer started freaking out, so at least there's that. I was going to write about the books I've been reading and new revelations about homeschooling, but these will have to keep for now since my index finger is not up to the task.
Last week was Banned Book Week and I was going to tie everything together so nicely. How helpless I am without a keyboard. Maybe Wendell Berry has it right after all--his favorite technology is a paper and pencil. Look for me in a few years time, sitting in the woods, wide awake with a composition book and a sharpie pen, weaned and severed from the silly silver machine with the seductive poisonous apple that puts us all into an enchanted sleep.
Meanwhile, visit iamhope.blogspot.com for another Poetry Wednesday post sure to be composed on a working computer.