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  • Writer's pictureNora Curry

Poem of the Week: Branch Library

Here's to starting 2022 with a bit of unharnessed joy! The Camden Public Library serves a fairly small community in our coastal town and doesn't have a branch library... or does it? In this delightful poem, Edward Hirsch offers us a play on words that seems particularly appropriate to share at a library that encompasses a beautiful outdoor amphitheatre and park, where we celebrate both the books indoors and the wonderful discoveries of the outdoors. Hirsch celebrates the similar senses of discovery that both settings call to mind, and we could all use a purely joyful poem now and again, couldn't we?

Branch Library

I wish I could find that skinny, long-beaked boy

who perched in the branches of the old branch library.

He spent the Sabbath flying between the wobbly stacks

and the flimsy wooden tables on the second floor,

pecking at nuts, nesting in broken spines, scratching

notes under his own corner patch of sky.

I'd give anything to find that birdy boy again

bursting out into the dusky blue afternoon

with his satchel of scrawls and scribbles,

radiating heat, singing with joy.

- Edward Hirsch

From Special Orders

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