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Because of Libraries we can Say These Things

I have this long post drafted about Maslow’s hierarchy and priorities and this and that. I guess it’s ok. But tonight I sat in a circle with students, faculty, and other friends and supporters of Peanut U, and first we celebrated the artistic achievements of a student graduating this spring, whose art now graces the library’s walls, and then we read poetry.

We read poems about hope and love and friendship and sisters; cannibalism and death; life and rebirth.

And we ate brownies and tangerines and drank lemon soda and cheap wine, and it was good.

And someone even got the quiet joke of the madelines I had purchased (“Look, I have a memory coming on!”).

And this is what I read:

Because of Libraries We Can Say These Things

She is holding the book close to her body,
carrying it home on the cracked sidewalk,
down the tangled hill.
If a dog runs at her again, she will use the book as a shield. …

The book is a shield; the word is good. There are people who “get” why we need the Library as Place; why we need an intellectual center, a barycenter for our literary souls. For those people, I need provide no long-winded discussions of pyramids. For those people, a poem and a brownie will do.

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