"Books are our friends."
grade-school assignment then.
But I am comforted less each time I enter
this quiet room full of friends
speak but never listen?
This tells the story of a lady who dies
beneath a train; the ending never varies.
why in this is Wyckham more believable than Darcy?
Here, the whole Civil War in three volumes,
every skirmish, raid, and
the mud, the blood, the shattered bone, and a girl
baking bread, killed by a stray mini-ball.
In cadences, spare and fine, a poet speaks
of youth and love and loss
I can't forbid my tears.
Philip Larkin, Donald Justice, and Billy
Collins stand arm in arm with Housman, Dickinson,
the Romantics. When I am out, they trade ineffable
of the uncreated.
Here Sam Johnson labors, in poverty, ill-health,
and loneliness, to save
glorious tongue of Shakespeare, Doone, and Milton, 200 years
television wrecked it forever. A Harvard don has laid out the
sage psychologically like a dissected frog pinned open.
would have hated it; Boswell was a better friend.
A satire proves the Boomer Generation,
vain, inconstant, shallow, and foolish
a doubt. The laughter hurts a little...then a lot.
A brilliant atheist clarifies the six
physicist exceeds the speed of light.
reviews the century.
critic sits collected.
I can silence them all with a clap of
covers, yet there they stand with their
turned. "Pearls before swine," they are thinking, but with a
on the shoulder, they are ready to jabber on.
With friends like these, why should you
care for me at all?
friends, no doubt, are wiser, more articulate company.
who am I now anyway but a bad digest of them all?
are right to tire of me. Go. Be with your own friends.
I'll stay home alone and read.