banned books, broken computers

Posted by on October 2, 2013

In the Reading Room

By David Ferry

Alone in the library room, even when others
Are there in the room, alone, except for themselves:
There is the illusion of peace; the air in the room

Is stilled; there are reading lights on the tables,
Looking as if they’re reading, looking as if
They’re studying the text, and understanding,

Shedding light on what the words are saying;
But under their steady imbecile gaze the page
Is blank, patiently waiting not to be blank.

The page is blank until the mind that reads
Crosses the black river, seeking the Queen
Of the Underworld, Persephone, where she sits

By the side of the one who brought her there from Enna,
Hades the mute, the deaf, king of the dead letter;
She is clothed in the beautiful garment of our thousand

Misunderstandings of the sacred text.

* * *

Poetry Wednesday is supposed to begin again today, but a few days ago my laptop started acting funny–the trackpad is going bonkers and I cannot do any writing. So I am reduced to plunking this out with my index finger on my iPhone. For the record, the blogger app has been given a 2.5 star rating by users. I am quickly finding out why. But somehow blogging via phone feels inherently wrong so I forgive the blogger app its ineptness.

Thankfully I copied out the above poem days ago, before my computer started freaking out, so at least there’s that. I was going to write about the books I’ve been reading and new revelations about homeschooling, but these will have to keep for now since my index finger is not up to the task.
Last week was Banned Book Week and I was going to tie everything together so nicely. How helpless I am without a keyboard. Maybe Wendell Berry has it right after all–his favorite technology is a paper and pencil. Look for me in a few years time, sitting in the woods, wide awake with a composition book and a sharpie pen, weaned and severed from the silly silver machine with the seductive poisonous apple that puts us all into an enchanted sleep.
Meanwhile, visit for another Poetry Wednesday post sure to be composed on a working computer.
  1. A M B E R
    October 3, 2013

    I think this is a brilliant little post and maybe you should use your iphone to post from time to time to keep it super pithy. I'm sorry it took me all day to find the time to post my poem, now that everyone here is asleep I am able to write.

    And what an amazingly beautiful poem! I want to look up David Ferry now to see if he has other gems to mine.

  2. Manuela
    October 8, 2013

    How can you even write so much and so well typing with just your index finger on an iphone. I assume it's the talent of a true writer.
    I am glad you are back. I will enjoy more regular postings, and hope to participate as much as I can.
    Thanks for the poem.