Poem Hunter
.04) A Galaxy Past Gutenberg
(1948 / OVER 400 POEMS SERVED! !)

.04) A Galaxy Past Gutenberg

In the glass case, a Gutenberg bible—
only three like it left in the world.
Surprising myself, I started to cry,
there in the Library of Congress,

as though we were seeing
a Platonic form
instead of a physical thing.
In a sense, the millions of books
in this and every library,
in all the Barnes & Nobles' and Borders'
and the ones on my bookshelves at home
all descended from this book.

In a glass case nearby
an almost identical bible,
handwritten by scribes,
took years to produce—
a labor of love, no doubt,

but Gutenberg granted
every poet the dream
that his own words in print
might encircle the world.

(Now I'll go home and type this
and click. It will un-write itself
into a flow of electrons
like the ones in my brain
that gave it birth,

a swarm of bees
speeding across the world
to rearrange themselves
a few seconds later
so these words
can form on your screen.)

User Rating: 4,0 / 5 ( 7 votes ) 5

Comments (5)

Max, that you are the kind of person who can grasp the essence of such a phenomen and respond in such a way says great things about you! ! A wonderful structure of words has been transmitted to this middling brain as a result, and it's very much appreciated. jim
Very nice poem Max, even though the facts about the Gutenberg Bible are incorrect. H
Max, I never think of good old Gutenberg when I am keyboarding on my laptop...and yet you have given me pause to be thankful to the vision he had. I love the emotion you showed when viewing the Gutenberg bible. Makes me like you even more. Raynette
Wow, what a great poem, showing such affection for the written and printed word and following it through our current existence of trying to create something beautiful and sacred, thanks, Max.
Your insights are simply beautiful! I enjoyed this poem very much indeed! Regards, Stephen Parnell