Sonnets echo through the shelves of the library,
disturbing ancient dust and ghosts of poets lost,
to keep you company, stir your memory,
protect your heart and soul from time’s frost.
Among your books, you are never alone,
with full moon or candle to shed light.
Besides, heart-learnt words in blood and bone
blossom into spectres in the night;
they kiss your grizzled skin and whisper in your ear
the words of your oldest friend – Will Shakespeare.
Kim M. Russell. 5th January 2021
My response to dVerse Poets Pub Poetics: Conversations
Sarah is our host this Tuesday, welcoming us to January and a brand-new year. She tells us that she has volunteered to lead a walking and writing group in her local town – socially distanced, sharing poems and other writing, and looking for inspiration on the way. She explains that, as part of her preparation, she’s been reading about the craft of writing poetry, and thought this prompt would be a good way to share something of what she’s learnt. It’s interesting, enlightening and very useful.
Sarah’s prompt has been inspired by Kate Clanchy’s ’How to Grow your own Poem’, in which writing poetry is described as being “part of a conversation”, and she’d like that conversation made manifest by asking us to look back over the last year and choose poems that call to us – maybe from dVerse, but from elsewhere if we prefer – and write poems in response. When we post our poems, we should include either the original poem or a link to it, so that our readers can see the conversation manifested. We can also explain what it was that attracted us to the original poems, and how we’ve responded to them.
I chose to have a conversation with one of my favourite dVerse characters, Björn’s aged librarian; there were many poems to choose from, but I went back to February and found this one:
GHOSTS OF POETS LOST
His books are ghosts of poets lost
the aged librarian is not alone
at night when moonlight kisses frost
on papers, words grow blood and bone
of authors that he knows by heart.
At night Will Shakespeare’s voice accost,
and sonnet corridors with art.
Image: The Bookworm by Carl Spitzweg (circa 1850), found on Wikipedia