Just the other day I passed a link to this website to colleague and teacher of English at Annan Academy Graeme Cooper, together with a cryptic note “How about it?”. Our Mr Cooper is a recently published and talented poet(see him blush) and I’m sure you will all agree after reading his poem below. Fellow librarians say the poem should be published as a poster to display in our libraries.I for one, would buy one for home too.
Why do we,
Need a library,
When to search on line,
Does the job just fine?
Takes us straight to what we want to see?
Because of what we miss along the way.
For what journeys do we go on now,
Without by-passing all unneeded towns?
What unknown places do we pass through,
To notice sights and people new,
That prick our imagination and curiousity?
Where do we stop unintended to explore and try,
To taste the barm cakes, stotties and butteries,
Instead of grabbing a bite at sterile, road side fill-upperies,
At some indifferent point on the westbound M4,
Before plugging back in to the network once more?
‘Discoveries’ come from menus of on-line suggestions,
‘Those who liked Rowling also liked Travelodge Weston,
Super-Mare’ where scripted student guides lead us through,
Phony fasciaed photoshop tableaux,
Soul-lessly facsimilied places to get our attention,
While corporate pick-pockets reduce any destination,
To homogenous brand.
Starbucks in the Forbidden City,
Premier Inn on the avenues of Paris,
McDonald’s beside Babylon’s gardens pretty.
Holiday compounds hermetically divide us,
From exotic cultures and hidden villages,
Preventing the indigenous poor from sharing the profit,
Isolating us and them from literature’s privileges,
Persuading us that the world and curiousity are finite,
But take a walk round the library and don’t ever believe it.
Somewhere between J Alfred Prufrock and Bridge of Sighs,
Lies the last place on earth we can still find surprise.
You will find more of the not-so-elusive Mr Cooper’s poems here