Hump Day Quickie #115

Posted: November 16, 2016 in Hump-Day Quickies
Tags: , , ,

Byron & John Keats on the Road

by Richard Edenfield

I run a mobile library. I bought an old Winnebago and stocked it with books. All the classics and new books, to. I was a teacher. Then a writer. And a part-time librarian. My name is John Keats. My mother was an aspiring poetess and named me after the romantic master of verse. My dog is named Byron.

I travel across the country and mostly give books away. Or I stay for a while and people come into my library and read. Sometimes I will give short lectures outside my vehicle on poetry or the ambitions of literature through history. I set up a chalk board that I attached to the side of my library for when I have classes. I try to find people and places that could benefit from Wilde’s ‘Intentions,’ or Whitman’s ‘Leaves of Grass,’ or Richard Bach’s ‘Johnathan Livingston Seagull.’ and the children love when Byron howls every time I say the phrase, “I sing the body electric!” Byron… the dog, is a great poet, though frequently his works are poorly translated.

Occasionally, I get large crowds of people who are having hard times. Children experiencing terrible poverty. So I read to them poetry about Italian countryside’s with sunsets raising the ocean like a lantern. Or magical places where the heart can soar on golden wings of starlight wishes. Their wide eyes would blink as if they were sowing moments together into a warm blanket of wonder and imagination that would protect them from their cold hard reality.

And Byron will frequently stick his head out the window as we are traveling down some rural road someplace unknown and yelp at the top of his lungs some great sonnet of love and redemption with the wind pinning his ears back. It is moments like this when I feel free. With the books rattling on the shelves. And a map on my lap that sits like some great novel worn at the edges but still pointing me in the direction of some great new hope. The sound of pages fluttering like angel wings learning to fly in some new heaven.


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