Since I posted yesterday, in response to J. J. Gannon’s article on the whole e-pub hoopla, my loverly “Ode to My e-Books,” I wanted to post for you (probably for the fifteenth time – I don’t know) the “Ode” that started my “Ode Ball” rolling, many years ago – waaaaaay back in the 1990’s. So you will all know that I bear no ill will toward books printed on paper and bound – except as concerns their weight and my ability to turn pages – here is my many-splendored, oft-quoted, magnificent epic work of poetry:
Ode to My Books
© 1993 Paula Tohline Calhoun
Books on bookshelves, firmly packed,
Books on counters, neatly stacked.
Books by every couch and chair
Books on floors and on the stair.
Books for pleasure, books for learning
(Not one single book for burning).
Books for reading, books for show
Books that shine with afterglow
Of days spent telling stories culled
From those same pages read of old.
Books we’d love to give away,
And books to savor, meant to stay
With those who know the joyous taste
Of books embossed and leather-cased
Devoured as the hours pass
While sitting in some boring class.
(Those who say that class was wasted,
Don’t know just how good that book tasted!).
Books by authors known to few
Books so old that now they’re “new.”
Books that nourish starving minds,
Books for everyone, all kinds.
Books that still reside in me,
Fresh, as they will always be.
Should all the world and all within it
Fall away this very minute –
Were there no humans left to love,
Just my books, and God above,
Then list my life replete, well-fed –
With all my books, I’ll be well-read!
To put some more of my nonsense back to bed – at least for a while, I will treat you to the final “Ode” in that particular series. This one is for a writer of books, rather than a reader of (or listener to) books. Although it was originally titled “Ode to My Keyboard,” the keyboard sort of took over from me as I wrote, and typed out:
The Keyboard’s Lament
© 2010 Paula Tohline Calhoun
My keyboard, “Paddy,” sits before me, waiting for my hands
To busily type in my thoughts as they ripen and answer the demands
Of an empty screen, and blinking cursor.
His impatience only makes it worse, or
Scrambles my mental connection.
But I will not give up, nor let him disrupt
My dream-world of blogging perfection.
Therefore the letters and numbers before me,
In paradigmatic array
Shall stand mutely by until I descry
the brilliance my blog will display.
I mutter to this contraption, in an effort to delay, (he thinks),
the inevitable page of drivel he’s certain I’ll write today,
“Oh Paddy! You wireless wizard of letters, kindly explain to me
Exactly what it is you do, and how you came to be!”
“My origin’s no mystery,” he haughtily replies
“Type in ‘keyboard history,’ in the space your browser supplies!
You’ll find that I can lead you to such fascinating trivia
as, ‘what’s the time in Kathmandu?,or the capital of Bolivia?’
But why do you always stop to consider such things at times like these?
Is it because you want me to improve your poor capabilities?
There’s really nothing I can do to change the situation –
All of your endless typos, which cause such aggravation –
So instead of the keys, the A-B-Cs, you so frequently abuse
As well as most of all the rest, the M-N-O-P-Qs –
My suggestion is cease your writing, and humbly call ‘Retreat!’
The only keys you really need are: Escape, and Ctrl/Alt/Delete!”
According to Paddy, I had written enough. . .