Cathedrals of Words [1]

It starts with that

the feel of paper

between the fingers

the paper worn by touch

the ink a little faded

but the weight of

the incorruptible text

resting on the eye

retaining its worth

for ever

 

Even before that

there was the heft of it

in the hand

the boards scuffed

the jacket torn

but the perfection of

that binding

resting on the palm

is held in the brain

for ever

 

It comes to this

the imprint of the words               

on the mind

the pages freighted

the paper weighted

with the power of

the author's prose

fixed in the mind

overwhelming the senses

eternally

 

And then there is this

the glory of the collection

on the eye

the shelves ordered

their books organised

with the sheer mass of

human knowledge

held in the library

inspiring writers

for ever

 

[1] Jean-Paul Sartre (The Words, 1964 tr. Bernard Frechtman, New York: George Braziller)
used the term 'cathedrals' to describe his writing - and possibly, thus, a book - "As a rhetorician,
I cared only for words: I would set up cathedrals of words...".

I am not sure what that makes a library! He also spoke of the 'incorruptible' text

archivesauthorsbookscollectionslexlibrariespaperrepositoriesSartetextwordswriterswriting

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