Sunday, July 16, 2006

Let Me Think

Of my life,
on having memories of the Anne Arundel County Library
whose children's section was in the basement
down a worn, colonial staircase.

On narrow step and ever down,
My own small feet descend and rise,
Small arms filled full with pictures bound
In blessed books for children eyes.
I searched for those, an alibi
For looking, longing at my dreams
Which held a story in this wise;
To sit in quiet thought unseen.

But child life is life around
Many things of play. It tries
To, sneering, snatch away what's found
By quiet wits. They criticize
My daemon, and to exorcise,
Build games and tawdry toys between,
But pictures still within me rise
To sit in quiet thought unseen.

With age words were with pictures crowned
Without the drawings loved and prized
And hid my passion in the town
Of souls. I should apologize
To those who meanly memorized
The plays of sport and business teams.
I'm a cripple man, black-avised
To sit in quiet thought unseen.

I do not tempt, evangelize
These latent ways, my creed serene
But cross myself and catechize
To sit in quiet thought unseen.

by Evan Wilson


Wolfgang Foxglove said...

Kinda like it. But two small criticisms.

A)Might dress up those first few lines. "Descend and rise" offers a confused image, as in the line before the figure is going "Ever down," the steps, in which case simply "descending," or something in line two would be more to the point.

B)Last quatrain is very good, but you might go with "Their latent ways" instead of "These. . ." for the sake of clarity.

Austin Storm said...

I love it, but I fear I am not objective since I, too, grew up visiting the AACPL. I 'volunteened' and worked there as well. I still remember the cruel, cruel 5-book limit imposed on me by my mother when I was younger. (Not so cruel, I suppose, since we were there several times weekly.)