I find myself once more in paradise,
In pages hatched from intellects once flexed,
In inspiration, knowledge and advice.
Each timeworn tale as striking as the next,
Sent forth through time to meet me in this room,
Begs me to read its tantalising text.
Such ordinary words brought here to bloom,
As bland ingredients in recipes
Or chemicals in sweet-smelling perfume.
Reality returns upon a breeze.
A chill brought from the lifeless winter town:
It slaps my face and puts me ill at ease.
I cannot spend this evening buckled down
In rousing dialogue, with able minds
Placed on these shelves by talent and renown.
My pocket holds that worst dread of mankind:
An empty wallet’s taunting, vacant stare,
The stare which gives us inhibitive binds.
And so I’ll spend this evening unaware
Of buried wisdom written down to share.
Since I’m going to Hay-on-Wye today (“the town of books”), I thought I’d leave this here…
There aren’t enough books on my shelf,
No matter the number I buy.
Although I’ve not read them myself,
I reap a relentless supply.
No matter the number I buy,
My yearning I cannot fulfil.
I reap a relentless supply
But have plenty of space yet to fill.
My yearning I cannot fulfil,
These books serve a fictional feast,
I have plenty of space yet to fill,
I’ve room yet for scores more at least.
These books serve a fictional feast;
They provide me with countless ideas.
I’ve room yet for scores more at least:
I’ll keep buying for many more years.
They provide me with countless ideas,
Although I’ve not read them myself.
I’ll keep buying for many more years;
There aren’t enough books on my shelf!
The xx - Last Christmas (Live on BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge)
Why did it take me so long to watch this?
Finally get to see Frank live on Saturday! Only been waiting 4 bloody years!
Returning home one year to find
A place I did not know,
I looked upon a town resigned
To wallow in its woe.
The city that I left that day
Was thriving in contrast
To this sorry sight that lay
Beaten and harassed.
It’s hard to see when I’m not there
What has become of home.
The streets fell into disrepair
While away I roamed
Through English paths and alleyways,
Searching for a sign
Of how to set the world ablaze
And break from my confines.
These shadow towns across the land
Lie in secret silence;
No notion of a helping hand
Occurs to the indifference
Of Tory boys, who babble on
And drain the life away
From Valley towns where hope is gone
And all is turned to grey.
Sir Philip Sidney - To Sleep
William Shakespeare, Sonnet V