All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated. . . .

—John Donne

All of mankind is one large volume.
He whose library has floated away
Cannot be torn from it, sings poet
In the chilled air of a dank library.

Libraries give the living their chills
Floating away with entire volumes
Along with their common volume,
Their own chapters lost to floating
For want of proper list of contents.

Advertisements