Fri08292014

Senior Lifestyles

Local poet pays tribute to community librarians


What to name a new column that will feature rhyming verse? Well, you see what I’ve come up with. Your suggestions would be most welcome, as would any other comments on a column dedicated to poetry that rhymes (most of the time) and consists of verses about the world around us. Welcome, and enjoy (I do hope!).

Buckle your seat belts. The rhyming is about to start. But first, the background on my first column’s poem.

Local libraries ain’t what they used to be. Neither are librarians. Few other professionals have changed so much with the times, yet done so as quietly (as befits a library, after all). This tribute to the Los Altos community librarian, recited at the end of the last century, applies as well to her counterparts everywhere and is still true today. Following are excerpts from my original poem.

‘Overdue’

Our early years were by the book

We crawled with Dick and Jane

We walked with Halliburton

And we ran with Charlemagne

We lived with Captain Marvel

Comic heroes filled the house

Today, the world is different

Lucky kids own Mighty Mouse

In the Information Age

Kids with Jack stand beanstalk tall

Hopeful families surf the Web

Hapless families walk the mall

Enter: the Librarian

Equalizer in the ’hood

She who has a way with words

Stands now where the Fates once

stood

Say you need a current source

To finish up your homework

Or want an arcane meaning

checked

For a lifetime’s tome-work

Yet you lack the wherewithal

To find websites that intrigue

Just set foot in her domain –

Every boot is Seven League

Yesteryear’s librarian

Tidy and methodical

Had a place for everything

(Book or periodical)

Anchoring her reference desk

The encyclopedia

Could she guess her treasured

stacks

Would go multimedia?

Pity our librarian

Her good old days, off they flew

Facing our librarian

Tasks no Hercules could do

What’s it take to just keep up?

Attributes of Superman?

So the fateful question comes

Who is our librarian?

(Or ask, a la Steven King,

What is our librarian?)

She must have the strength of ten

So is she more than human?

Who’s beneath that chic disguise?

Perhaps she’s Wonder Woman

(With all that Web acumen

She could be Spider Woman!)

She doesn’t need her “powers”

To hear a distant drumming

Doesn’t need two X-ray eyes

To see tomorrow coming

There upon the Internet

Far out where the future calls

Reading rooms that have no books

Libraries that have no walls

Brave new dreams has she to lend

Borrow from her, as you should

Honor your librarian

Our Info Age Robin Hood

Bob Simon is a Los Altos resident. For more information or to comment, call him at 948-9054 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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