Guest poem sent in by Jeffrey Sean Huo
(Poem #1422) My Library
It is small and dim and shabby -- just one old, low-corniced room, With the plaster stained and broken and the corners lost in gloom: And one square, uncurtained window, where a sea-born sunset shines In a glow of chastened splendor though grand cathedral pines. But 'tis dear and sacred to me, plain and dusky tho' it be, For the best of friends and comrades hither come to meet with me. And I welcome them right gladly when the lingering daylight falls On the old, familiar faces of my books along the walls. Matchless tales of lands far distant; ballads of an olden day, Full of fire and faith and fervor that no time can steal away: Songs of many gracious poets: rare old essays richly blent With the legendary lore of orient and occident: Tales of wonderful adventures in the merry years of yore, And of half-forgotten battles lost and won by sea and shore; Classic myth and stately epic, born of earth-old joy or pain -- All the centuries have left us, I may gather here again. Here with hosts of friends I revel who can never change or chill; Though the fleeting years and seasons they are fair and faithful still! Kings and courtiers, knights and jesters, belles and beaux of far away, Meet and mingle with the beauties and the heroes of to-day. All the lore of ancient sages, all the light of souls divine, All the music, wit and wisdom of the gray old world is mine, Garnered here where fall the shadows of the mystic pineland's gloom! And I sway an airy kingdom from my little book-lined room.
Lucy Maud Montgomery is most famous for the book 'Anne of Green Gables' and subsequent novels; but in her lifetime she also wrote hundreds of poems, of which "My Library" is one. I think, in three heartfelt verses, Montgomery captures wonderfully the affection and passion that all who call ourselves lovers of books and stories know. Jeffrey [Martin adds] I am reminded, too, of Guest's "Story Time" [Poem #733], with its similar "there is no frigate like a book" theme. What sparkles through in both poems is the appeal not just to the imagery but to the language of the old, familiar tales - the "legendary lore of occident and orient", the "shadows of the mystic pineland's gloom" would appear affected elsewhere, but are not only accepted but positively demanded in the books to which the speaker refers. The license to use them here comes not just from the poem, but from its subject matter.  and I note we've not run that one yet!