Friday, June 4, 2010

From the Library

I found this lovely poem today in an old copy of "Favorite Poems of Emily Dickinson". I came across it at the library in the used books they were selling - along with Black Beauty, Stone Soup, and Famous Poets for Young People (which my daughter said "Pleeease can we get it?" {sigh of pure joy in a CM mother's heart!}).

Interestingly enough, the poem is titled "In a library" and it spoke so much to me about CM's belief that children are to be put in touch with ideas, directly from the source. I just love how she personifies him in such an intimate way.

I'll share it with you so you can enjoy it with me.

In a Library
by Emily Dickinson

A precious, mouldering pleasure 't is
To meet an antique book,
In just the dress his century wore;
A privilege, I think,

His venerable hand to take,
And warming in our own,
A passage back, or two, to make
To times when he was young.

His quaint opinions to inspect,
His knowledge to unfold
On what concerns our mutual mind,
The literature of old;

What interested scholars most,
What competitions ran
When Plato was a certainty,
And Sophocles a man;

When Sappho was a living girl,
And Beatrice wore
The gown that Dante deified,
Facts, centuries before,

He traverses familiar,
As one should come to town
And tell you all your dreams were true:
He lived where dreams were sown.

His presence is enchantment,
You beg him not to go;
Old volumes shake their vellum heads
And tantalize, just so.


  1. I love this poem, and we love the library, though, we have our own library {lol ;D }
    My husband stopped asking why we had to go to the library every week, when we have all these books at home. Now, he is beginning to see the love for reading my children are growing in, and it is an exiting thing to sit and watch :D Thanks for posting this!

  2. It is so comforting to discover this whole living community - from times past and present - which delights in diving into that huge part of life which is ideas, particularly as laid forth in books. Through this poem alone our hearts and minds commune with Emily Dickinson and we have gained a friend.

  3. *sighing* in pure joy with you over your daughter's sweet plea!
    glad you shared this with us!

  4. Loni - it must be a CM sickness :) Seems most our friends have it - building more book shelves, buying more living books...

    A friend indeed Sophia :)

    Melissa - thank you!