the bookmobile

Jeanne_At_Library

Bookmobile
by Joyce Sutphen

I spend part of my childhood waiting
for the Sterns County Bookmobile.
When it comes to town, it makes a
U-turn in front of the grade school and
glides into its place under the elms.

It is a natural wonder of late
afternoon. I try to imagine Dante,
William Faulkner, and Emily Dickinson
traveling down a double lane highway
together, country-western on the radio.

Even when it arrives, I have to wait.
The librarian is busy, getting out
the inky pad and the lined cards.
I pace back and forth in the line,
hungry for the fresh bread of the page,

because I need something that will tell me
what I am; I want to catch a book,
clear as a one-way ticket, to Paris,
to London, to anywhere.

Joyce Sutphen, “Bookmobile” from Coming Back to the Body. Copyright © 2000 by Joyce Sutphen. Used by permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf Holy Cow! Press, http://www.holycowpress.org

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owldefiesgravity

William Faulkner said:

 in his Nobel Prize acceptance speech:

“I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. The poet’s, the writer’s duty is to write about these things. … The poet’s voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail.”

He also said:

“It is my ambition to be, as a private individual, abolished and voided from history, leaving it markless, no refuse save the printed books; I wish I had had enough sense to see ahead thirty years ago and, like some of the Elizabethans, not signed them. It is my aim, and every effort bent, that the sum and history of my life, which in the same sentence is my obit and epitaph too, shall be them both: he made the books, and he died.” His obituaries, when they were written upon his death in 1962, were substantially longer. The epitaph on his grave doesn’t mention his books. It reads simply, “Belove’d/ Go With God.”

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