The problem with Monday’s poem is that I really like the central conceit – but otherwise I think a lot of it sucks. Herewith, poem, Take Two (and no idea if there will be further versions):

For the Northeast Regional Library, on Cottman and Kindred Avenues
I wonder what was outside Plato’s cave:
Did the entrance lead
Out to the open sky?
Or did it open
To another cave
To another bigger cave
To another bigger world
That was still a cave?

The shelves were just as high as I was tall
(Which was not very.) But each case was full,
Each book a tiny cave in which to glimpse
A fuzzy view of shadows on a wall.

That alcove opened to a bigger vault
Whose books were bigger caves, more accurate
The images that stood upon their walls
For those who’d left behind that inmost holt.

Above, the caves had now to caverns grown:
Books filled a space whose stacks were high and long
Their detailed, dappled shadows sharper now
More accurate realities in stone.

Room after room, more words than I could read
More shadows on more walls than I could see;
A world for every view, or a view for every world
Or a new perspective for each reader’s need.

I gloat still on that unexhausted treasure,
Though my ancestral caves are far away
Outside their portals stands a greater bounty
An endless source of wisdom – and of pleasure.

I was thinking it needed more structure, not necessarily rhyme, maybe even something like a pantoum, but it didn’t want to go there. In other news, I’m back to work, though my uncle’s still here for a few more days. I probably won’t get a report of our travelings posted until this weekend. It’s been a good visit, though certainly with its share of bitten tongue for me (relatives!).