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An Afternoon In The Stacks

An Afternoon In The Stacks

Closing the book, I find I have left my head
Inside. It is dark in here, but the chapters open
Their beautiful spaces and give a rustling sound,
Words adjusting themselves to their meaning.
Long passages open at successive pages. An echo,
Continuous from the title onward, hums
Behind me. From in here, the world looms,
A jungle redeemed by these linked sentences
Carved out when an author traveled and a reader
Kept the way open. When this book ends
I will pull it inside-out like a sock
And throw it back in the library. But the rumor
Of it will haunt all that follows in my life.
A candleflame in Tibet leans when I move.



Poem An Afternoon In The Stacks - Mary Oliver
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