Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


In the Library

for Octavio


There's a book called
"A Dictionary of Angels."
No one has opened it in fifty years,
I know, because when I did,
The covers creaked, the pages
Crumbled. There I discovered

The angels were once as plentiful
As species of flies.
The sky at dusk
Used to be thick with them.
You had to wave both arms
Just to keep them away.

Now the sun is shining
Through the tall windows.
The library is a quiet place.
Angels and gods huddled
In dark unopened books.
The great secret lies
On some shelf Miss Jones
Passes every day on her rounds.

She's very tall, so she keeps
Her head tipped as if listening.
The books are whispering.
I hear nothing, but she does.

Credit


From Sixty Poem by Charles Simic. Copyright © 2008 by Charles Simic. Reprinted by permission of Harcourt Trade Publishers. All rights reserved.

Author


Charles Simic

Charles Simic received the Academy Fellowship in 1998 and was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 2000. 

Date Published: 2008-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/library