Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Homage to Libraries and Librarians

While searching for books to read in the Clementi Library I was nicely surprised to see this title The Beautiful Librarians  written by poet Sean O'Brien on the shelves. In this collection there are altogether 39 poems and The Beautiful Librarians, the title poem of the collection is a nostalgic homage to the glory of libraries and librarians.

A homage to libraries and librarians

As a former librarian I was chaffed to read O'Brien's  fascination with the mysterious female staff of his local library.  But were librarians really that romantically memorable to stir a poet to "adoration"😊 

On quiet evenings at the issue desk, 
Stamping books and never looking up
At where I stood in adoration

I liked that he remembered and immortalised librarians with nostalgia and elevated us to the realms of poetry. Instead of depicting our role as repressive tyrants maintaining the golden rule of silence and crusty custodians  of dusty books we are recaptured  as guardian angels of "realms of gold" (meaning books or the collection)

Never to even brush in passing
Yet nonetheless keep faith with them
The ice queens in their realms of gold -

The ice queens and their realms of gold! 1960s - 2017 

Because I am a book addict and library person the poem resonates with me. Like O'Brien I too have kept faith with libraries, books and reading. But for him the future is bleak as he laments the UK government's cuts in library and funding services.

Book after book I kept my word
Elsewhere, long after they were gone
And all the brilliant stock was sold


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