Monday 26 February 2024

πŸ“– Launch Day Book Review ~ Ten Poems about Libraries from Candlestick Press


Candlestick Press
26 February 2024

My thanks to the publisher for my copy of this pamphlet

Libraries are treasured places. We may remember visiting a local library in childhood to explore an early delight in reading. Or perhaps we have come to value them in later life, as a calm sanctuary where we can daydream among beloved books.

A library is also a portal into countless worlds of knowledge, experience and adventure:

“Oh, I could walk any aisle
and smell wisdom, put a hand out to touch
the rough curve of bound leather,
the harsh parchment of dreams.”

from ‘Maple Valley Branch Library, 1967’ by Rita Dove

With irresistible affection, these poems celebrate the many things that libraries mean to us as we move through the phases of our lives.

The poems are selected and introduced by poet Lorraine Mariner who has worked at the National Poetry Library in London for many years.

Poems by Adrian Buckner, Louise Chandler Moulton, Claire Crowther, Rita Dove, Martina Evans, Edward Hirsch, Lorraine Mariner, Ian McMillan, Charles Simic and Indigo Williams.

Cover illustration by Laura Brett.

Visit the National Poetry Library.

πŸ“– My Review...

I remember my first ever visit to the library. I thought it was a magical place, filled with a cornucopia of delights which have entertained, educated and beguiled me ever since. Strict silence was the rule, no food or drink allowed near the pages and children had to be seen rather than heard however, when my mother left me to explore the children's section I knew I had found my home.

I was delighted to find the opening poem The Mobile Library by Martina Evans. For years, when my children were small, I relied heavily on the mobile library service which visited my local area every Tuesday:

'And that was the best thing,
when I was sure it was still there,
my feet pressing into the deep steps...'

Capturing the thrill and excitement of libraries there is much to enjoy in this anthology of ten poems which reminds us of the beauty and wisdom of books, the thrill of chasing down a special book title and the sheer enjoyment of a place dedicated to the wonder of books.

From The Librarian at Her Post by Lorraine Mariner

'...My armour 
melts away and I say 'Yes, this place really exists'
I've been keeping it safe for you...'

And finding lost treasures, dusty tomes which haven't been opened in forever but which reveal magic on the inside:

From In the Library for Octavio by Charles Simic

'There's a book called
 'A Dictionary of Angels'
No-one has opened it in fifty years,
I know, because when I did, the covers creaked, the pages 

Beautifully produced, and with its colourful cover and end papers Ten poems about Libraries is every bit as magical as the libraries it champions.

About the Publisher

Candlestick Press is a small, independent press publishing sumptuously produced poetry pamphlets that serve as a wonderful alternative to a greetings card, with matching envelopes and bookmarks left blank for your message. Their subjects include Mountains, Clouds, Walking, Birds, Wine and Happiness. Candlestick Press pamphlets are stocked by chain and independent bookshops, galleries and garden centres nationwide and available to order online.

Twitter/X @poetrycandle

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