If you are looking for a holiday gift for the bibliophiles in your life the Everyman’s Library recently published a splendid new volume in its Pocket Poets series, Books and Libraries: Poems. The 272-page anthology, with gorgeous jacket art, includes such poets as Stevens,Horace, Shakespeare, Dickinson, Borges, Angelou, and others, all paying homage to books and libraries. The book’s editor, Andrew Scrimgeour, is the Archivist Emeritus of the Society of Biblical Literature and the Dean of Libraries Emeritus of Drew University.
The poems are sorted into meaningful categories including the love of books, readers, the reading experience, discovering reading as a child, celebrating individual books and authors, libraries, librarians, writing books, and the future of books and reading, and “Marginalia.”
The lead poem in the book is “The House was Quiet and the World Was Calm” by Wallace Stevens. Stevens captures the experience of reading alone at night in a quiet house on a summer evening and becoming sublimely lost in the book.