Loose Ends Poetry Marathon Day 1

I don’t usually do a marathon on weekend days, but this time, I decided to start on Sunday, because my son and daughter-in-law are visiting this next Friday. I wanted to keep the Marathon in consecutive days and I didn’t want to cram in a session on Friday afternoon. A theme of this Marathon is certainly developing: no hurrying!

So I went to Arcadia University, as I have done several times. It’s close to home, a five-minute drive, and the library is comfortable and welcoming.

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Landman Library.

I got there just as the library opened, but – they were a little slow in unlocking the doors. A group of students huddled in the porch, to the right. I took a moment to take another picture of the campus – the library faces on to the central section. You can see Grey Towers Castle to the left – I won’t go into its history here,  but it is a local landmark and jaw-dropping elaborate and beautiful.

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View of the center of campus.

All right, so I got inside and chose a seat. I went to the main reading room – I have worked here before. It is on the second floor and runs across the front of the building, so it is curved to follow the facade’s lines. I love it for it open feeling and the fact that no matter what time of day, it is full of light.

I settled down to work. First, I spent about thirty minutes doing what I’ve done in the past – doing some quick poetry writing. Then, I worked on the text for a shared artist book project I’ve been working on. I was able to focus on the pictures in the book and come up with an overall poem that fit with them, so I feel happy about that. Finally, I spent the rest of the time finishing up a group of poems that were almost right, but not quite, and yet I couldn’t seem to find the time to get them finished. So, I am very happy with today’s work.

An interesting thing – my table was set next to several shelves containing a collection of vinyl LP records. I looked them over and they ranged in subject matter from classical music to language instruction. Most of them looked very well used.

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And, as I have done in the past, here is one of the poems I wrote today. Remember, it’s just as it appeared from my brain, no polishing up!

I arrived on time but they were late.
The library is not busy on Sunday. Time is not
so important as on a weekday.
The desk assistant
still with her coat on
opening drawers and stacking papers
waved me in
without checking my identification.
The lights were not on in the stacks.
The shelves of books stretched off
in the dimness
into infinity or so you could think
until someone touched the master switch
and the lights flicked on
in a wave
from me outward
across the acres and miles and streets
of words
I have yet to use


14 thoughts on “Loose Ends Poetry Marathon Day 1

  1. Thank you. I was not sure if I was clear about it, but that happens when I write something and then immediately try to understand it. Even my own thoughts take time to solidify, I guess, even to me.

  2. Yes, thank you. Arcadia has been a place for us for a long time – theater productions, art events, swim in the pool, Halloween tours of the castle (very popular). And of course the library. They are unfailingly welcoming and friendly!

  3. Oh, kids have turntables now too. It’s very hip. It’s amusing to me. But I suppose I amused my elders too (although I seem to remember them being more angry than amused).

  4. Before I go to a college library I look at the library’s page on the college website to see what their visitor policy is. Most of them welcome visitors with no affiliation to the school but may restrict their hours or days (such as Penn, who forbids visitors later in the semester when students are getting ready for exams, for example), and they all want you to sign in and show ID (in some cases they will hold your driver’s license at the desk and you pick it up when you leave, let’s say, or they take the details down in a register). You can’t take out books, obviously, but otherwise, I’ve found you can go around the place just like the students. In fact, the librarians in most places seemed to be happy a community member was on campus.

    Any public library will let you in, of course, without a second glance, but they are “public”, obviously, and I feel I’ve still got a lot of them to try out, too!

  5. I really enjoy going around to these different spots. I feel a tiny sense of adventure at walking into a new place and trying out my thoughts in a new setting, and it breaks up the routine of just sitting at home and writing. If you find anywhere interesting, tell me, I’m always looking for new spots.!!!

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