Sunday, August 02, 2015

Old Library News from the Gilroy Dispatch

A couple of years ago I found this photocopy of part of an article from the Gilroy (California)
Dispatch. So I scanned it and waited for the rest to turn up. It hasn't yet. So here we are:
at the left Gail Leslie, one of the dearest and smartest people I ever worked with during my library days; at the right me, as my younger self. The article talked about two small mechanical reading practice machines (the Bell and Howell Language Master and the Controlled Reader) that had been purchased to help people who were learning English. I don't remember the details now, but think it was funded by a grant. Gail and I were demonstrating them for the reporter. I'm thinking the time was the early 1980s. So much time has gone by; in todays; world these devices would be laughable, but then they were very interesting,


Even when the rain falls relatively hard,

only one leaf at a time of the little tree
you planted on the balcony last year,
then another leaf at its time, and one more,
is set trembling by the constant droplets,

but the rain, the clouds flocked over the city,
you at the piano inside, your hesitant music
mingling with the din of the downpour,
the gush of rivulets loosed from the eaves,
the iron railings and flowing gutters,

all of it fuses in me with such intensity
that I can't help wondering why my longing
to live forever has so abated that it hardly
comes to me anymore, and never as it did,
as regret for what I might not live to live,

but rather as a layering of instants like this,
transient as the mist drawn from the rooftops,
yet emphatic as any note of the nocturne
you practice, and, the storm faltering, fading
into its own radiant passing, you practice again.

C. K. Williams

Love About Love. Ausable Press, 2001.

C. K. Williams poems have stopped me in my tracks several times!
Once it was in American Poetry Review and once in The New Yorker are the ones I remember specifically. All of his books of poems are wonderful. And this one had quite the relevance to go with the memories that that old newspaper article evoked.

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1 comment:

  1. Much younger versions of ourselves!! I always tell people that in the olden days I was google. I never add that I was google and looking at books of paintings by Alice Neel!!