The Library

Philip Larkin at Brynmor Jones Library 
at the University of Hull


“dwindling, went”
—Philip Larkin, 
The Importance of Elsewhere

Standing here by the card catalog—
This photo surely as ancient as I am
Here in the Brynmor Jones Library

The Library, since it wasn’t home—
Its strangeness made sense, a kind of
Rebuff of speech by the written word

Insisting so on the difference but—
Making me feel welcome: once that 
Was recognized, we were in touch 

Those secluded dead-end stacks—
Archaic smell of books like a temple 
Proving me separate, but knowable

Living in Hull was fairly ideal—
Here no elsewhere underwrote my 
Existence, how could I refuse?

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