The Burdened Bookshelf as Will and Representation

Each mover, save one Renaissance man
Of fellow feeling, complained of the books
And the bookshelves to display them.
Why would anyone move these thousands
Of miles and from house to house when
They are so obviously rarely used?

But the bookshelves, fully loaded, serve a purpose:

For starters, they tell anyone curious enough to look
Where and how my intellectual development has unfolded.
Second, they show all the languages I have tried to learn,
Even if I have been persistently unsuccessful.
Third, they show where my interest lie in the arts,
Music, history, literature, philosophy, and politics.
Fourth, they show that I’ve reached beyond the narrow
Confines of my family, neighbours, and local sports teams.

If you wanted to understand me, you could get a pretty
Good idea by browsing my bookshelves thoughtfully.
You’ll surely see that I am a person of profound refinement,
A deep thinker who has considered a universe of ideas.

And if you don’t see that immediately, perhaps
You’ve stumbled across some of my wife’s books.


◄ The Impact of Utilitarianism on Unsuspecting Feet

On Bodily Autonomy and Geriatric Femininity ►


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Randy Horton

Wed 17th Apr 2019 21:44

Laura, I'm using the prompts at

Steve, thanks for the comment. I feel looking at someone's bookshelf is like reading their biography.

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Laura Taylor

Wed 17th Apr 2019 13:13

Ha - love that last line ? Great poem, identify with it.

What prompts are you using, out of interest?

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