and in the shop…
“Finding the River Horse”
“The Loveliest Vein of Our Lives”
“Librettos for the Black Madonna”
White Adder Press;
pamphlet collection – “The Worcester Fragments”
“Signs of the Times”
Together, “with great pains”
they make presses to house his books
because he’s tired of seeing them lying about
reclining in his chairs.
It is July 1666 and I imagine
streaming into his rooms
so that you can see into the middle distance
dust motes thick as thieves
two people stumbling about
attempting to restore some order:
trees, wood and paper
foremost on their minds.
It was the start of Library Furniture –
nothing less than
in which a gentleman could display
his highly prized bindings
for others to admire –
not chiffoniers, smaller and lower,
to stand in other rooms…
in boulle marquetry –
nor did it have adjustable shelving
or stand with matching counterparts
flush against his walls.
I see his rooms lit by candles –
hands busy with books
sorting as to size.
Neatness was his purpose,
not subject matter
Dewey Decimal was a long way off
not yet on the cards.