Poets | Bookstore | Poem of the Day | Top 40 | Search | Comments | Privacy
December 25th, 2014 - we have 234 poets, 8,025 poems and 282,504 comments.
Randall Jarrell - Children Selecting Books In A Library

With beasts and gods, above, the wall is bright.
The child's head, bent to the book-colored shelves,
Is slow and sidelong and food-gathering,
Moving in blind grace ... yet from the mural, Care
The grey-eyed one, fishing the morning mist,
Seizes the baby hero by the hair
And whispers, in the tongue of gods and children,
Words of a doom as ecumenical as dawn
But blanched like dawn, with dew.
The children's cries
Are to men the cries of crickets, dense with warmth
-- But dip a finger into Fafnir, taste it,
And all their words are plain as chance and pain.
Their tales are full of sorcerers and ogres
Because their lives are: the capricious infinite
That, like parents, no one has yet escaped
Except by luck or magic; and since strength
And wit are useless, be kind or stupid, wait
Some power's gratitude, the tide of things.
Read meanwhile ... hunt among the shelves, as dogs do, grasses,
And find one cure for Everychild's diseases
Beginning: Once upon a time there was
A wolf that fed, a mouse that warned, a bear that rode
A boy. Us men, alas! wolves, mice, bears bore.
And yet wolves, mice, bears, children, gods and men
In slow preambulation up and down the shelves
Of the universe are seeking ... who knows except themselves?
What some escape to, some escape: if we find Swann's
Way better than our own, an trudge on at the back
Of the north wind to -- to -- somewhere east
Of the sun, west of the moon, it is because we live
By trading another's sorrow for our own; another's
Impossibilities, still unbelieved in, for our own ...
"I am myself still?" For a little while, forget:
The world's selves cure that short disease, myself,
And we see bending to us, dewy-eyed, the great
CHANGE, dear to all things not to themselves endeared.

Share |

Added: Feb 20 2003 | Viewed: 3281 times | Comments and analysis of Children Selecting Books In A Library by Randall Jarrell Comments (0)

Children Selecting Books In A Library - Comments and Information

Poet: Randall Jarrell
Poem: Children Selecting Books In A Library
There are no comments for this poem. Why not be the first one to post something about it?

Are you looking for more information on this poem? Perhaps you are trying to analyze it? The poem, Children Selecting Books In A Library, has not yet been commented on. You can click here to be the first to post a comment about it.

Poem Info

Jarrell Info
Copyright © 2000-2012 Gunnar Bengtsson. All Rights Reserved. Links | Bookstore