A sharp-edged double sword,
this clearing out of odds and ends.
Library shelves emptying.
books disappearing, one by one.
So many memories
trapped between each page,
covers, dust-bound now,
dust to dust and books to ashes.
Sorrowful, not sweet, each parting,
multiple losses, characters
never to be met again,
except in dreams.
Heroes, thinkers, philosophers, poets,
their life work condemned to conflagration.
Alpha: such love at their beginnings.
Omega: such despair,
with Guy Fawkes celebrations
the means to their ends.
the means of forging
those book worlds that surrounded us.
the means to end them.
Steadfast, the book-fires,
flames fast devouring
all but an occasional volume
snatched, burnt fingers,
from the flames.
2 thoughts on “Book Burning”
Book Burning generates an adept recollection of what it means to fall in love, academically, with books and their contents, while not losing sight of the fact that you cannot take a lifetime’s worth of books with you. This one is special. Chuck
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Thanks, Chuck. You too have been there. It’s a funny thing. I should take a photo of my facsimile copy of the Mexican codex snatched from the Inquisitional flames with the burn marks still on the cover. Chilling and warming, both at the same time.