In The Library by Charles Simic

In The Library

for Octavio


There’s a book called

A Dictionary of Angels.

No one had opened it in fifty years,

I know, because when I did,

The covers creaked, the pages

Crumbled.  There I discovered


The angels were once as plentiful

As species of flies.

The sky at dusk

Used to be thick with them.

You had to wave both arms

Just to keep them away.


Now the sun is shining

through the tall windows.

The library is a quiet place.

Angels and gods huddled

In dark unopened books.

The great secret lies

On some shelf Miss Jones

Passes every day on her rounds.


She’s very tall, so she keeps

Her head tipped as if listening.

The books are whispering.

I hear nothing, but she does.


More about Charles Simic

A photo of Mr. Simic. The only correction I have to the poem is that he should have called the librarian Ms. Jones!

Reserve the book here

posted by Louise

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