no silence in the library

31 Jul

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It’s said to be one of those onomatopoetic words in the HebrewCarl_Spitzweg_021-detail
imitating the sound of a beast or bird crying out.
I can’t help but think of the “caw-caw” of the crow.

Which tells me that reading is supposed to raise a racket.
Only modern libraries in Western culture would ever post
“Shhhhhhh!” warnings.
There was no silence in the library.
Reading is a noisy business.

But even more instructive than that was the note
that this Hebrew word is a primitive root
signifying the “accosting of a person met.”

To read is to accost.
To read is to be accosted.
Accosted by

Reading as wrestling
much like
that pile of boisterous brothers I recently witnessed

How tame our reading can be by contrast.
If we read at all.
Glancing blows over words
A perennial search for smooth reading fare that leaves
our core beliefs unstretched
our hair unmussed
our heart unperturbed.

Writer, prophet, poet,
O muse,
accost me.



Posted by on July 31, 2014 in haverings, word studies


Tags: , ,

2 responses to “no silence in the library

  1. After the Masters

    July 31, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    I have always appreciated that the URL for the Garden City Library is

    Recently I was intrigued about the relationship between Voltarine de Cleyre and Anna Goldman; they maintain a respectful relationship even they disagreed on many issues. just now realizing I was much less interested in what their thoughts were – but certainly impacted by their ability to debate even while agreeing to disagree.

  2. wordhaver

    July 31, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    Kudos to the Garden City Library! And I love spirited discussions when you sense the underlying respect, not only for each other, but for the truth of the matter under discussion. But when it’s a more vicious jabbing for the intellectual kill behind the shield of one’s own talking points – not so much. And it doesn’t take much discernment to see which is which.


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