Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Unpainted Door
Finally, in middle age,
I was tempted to return to childhood.

The house was the same, but
the door was different.
Not red anymore--unpainted wood.
The trees were the same: the oak, the copper beech.
But the people--all the inhabitants of the past--
were gone: lost, dead, moved away.
The children from across the street
old men and women.

The sun was the same, the lawns
parched brown in summer.
But the present was full of strangers.

And in some way it was all exactly right,
exactly as I remembered: the house, the street,
the prosperous village--

Not to be reclaimed or re-entered
but to legitimize
silence and distance,
distance of place, of time,
bewildering accuracy of imagination and dream--

I remember my childhood as a long wish to be elsewhere.
This is the house; this must be
the childhood I had in mind.

Louise Glück

Louise Glück was Poet Laureate in 2003-2004. The Monrovia Public Library has her books The Triumph of Achilles and The Seven Ages.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Portrait

My mother never forgave my father
for killing himself,
especially at such an awkward time
and in a public park,
that spring
when I was waiting to be born.
She locked his name
in her deepest cabinet
and would not let him out,
though I could hear him thumping.
When I came down from the attic
with the pastel portrait in my hand
of a long-lipped stranger
with a brave moustache
and deep brown level eyes,
she ripped it into shreds
without a single word
and slapped me hard.
In my sixty-fourth year
I can feel my cheek
still burning.

Stanley Kunitz

Stanley Kunitz was Poet Laureate from 1974 to 1976, and again from 2000 to 2001. The Monrovia Public Library has his books The Testing-Tree and Selected Poems, and his translation of poems of Anna Andreevna Akhmatova.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Finding books

mplasLearning the Dewey Decimal system is very easy. Take a look.

Click on the transparent box under GO to view the comic book.