Thursday, July 10, 2008

Dr. Thursday's Post: The Sacramentality of Things

Books, Ancient and Modern

They call it "electronics" this gold boom,
The word for amber from the Greeks we get;
And keyboards now weave books upon its loom.
To Manisa of Turkey is our debt
For now their "northbound stone" is our diskette
Whereon a million letters spin and whir;
No dog-eared floppies you have seen, I bet...
Dale says it's tactile books that most prefer.

Though books on disk make certain searches zoom,
They may succeed too well, to your regret,
A tenth of each book with ten words does bloom,
And paraphrase remains a constant threat,
And 'modern' scanned as 'modem' makes one fret,
This soup of letters I would rather stir
And eat - with a detective novelette.
Dale says it's tactile books that most prefer.

No glowing AMBER words lift sleepless gloom,
Though saving scholars loads of time and sweat,
No CRTs are thrown across the room
When readers' expectations are not met,
Or leather-bound, with gold and jewels set
When with the written word one does concur.
The magnet serves, but print is foe or pet...
Dale says it's tactile books that most prefer.

Oh fly caught in the web, trapped in the net,
Just scan a page which line noise cannot blur,
That touch and smell beyond all hardware yet...
Dale says it's tactile books that most prefer.

--Dr. Thursday

Previously published in Something Good To Read; used with
permission from the Editor-in-Chief.

When it appeared, the following note was appended:

We know that Manisa is the new name for Magnesia, the place in Asia
Minor which gives its name to magnets. But who is "Dale"? While we know
a lot of people named Dale, none of them live in Asia Minor. Perhaps it
is one of those poetry things we don't understand. That's why we have a
staff poet. Eds.

Note from Nancy: I don't know why, but when I just read this, I got the image of St. Jerome throwing a laptop across the room...

1 comment:

  1. Speaking of ballades ... I'm looking for ballade writers for another Chestertonian poetry contest. If you think you can follow the form of this poem (an excellent example of what a ballade should be), please go to and submit one. So far the submissions are sadly few, and I know there are plenty of good poets who read this blog--your triolets were proof.


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