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IT’S NOT QUIET IN THE LIBRARY
by April Halprin Wayland
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The electric door is opening, it sucks in outside air
a carpet rubs as a patron sits down on his chosen chair
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the blonde librarian waves her wand—I can hear it whisper-click
six times as it moves back and forth o’er six non-fiction picks.
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There are sounds that bounce around the rows of all the Y.A. books
if you listen closely you can hear folks’ irritated looks
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at that oops-he-forgot-to-turn-off-his-cell’s rock ‘n rolling ring
while on this page I hear the voice of Martin Luther King:
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and as I read, “I have a dream” reverberates in my head
near Charlotte who is loudly spinning words into her web.
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There are sounds around this building, there are sounds in books like these
it’s not quiet in the library and that’s okay by me.
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(c) 2011 April Halprin Wayland, all rights reserved
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The story behind the poem:
I was at the library, and as the librarian waved her wand over an audiobook, I heard it click…and began wondering how many sounds there were in a library…including the sounds a book’s story makes in one’s head.
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It’s your turn. Take your notebook to a park or a restaurant or a school or the beach and write down the sounds.  It may help to close your eyes to hear them.  Select the most interesting; write a poem.

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