The Accursed Sovereign


Fools these days think kindly

of collecting their books so idly.

A new thriller on every corner;

Amazon, Google, Tinder – place an order.


Pick it up, try it, take a sample!

Of pages, this one’s supply is ample.

Don’t like it?  Turn her out!

When they ask, “I tried it,” you can tout.


But the more prescient man, to me

has not a vast library.

He needs only a shelf, or two

to give his collection its due.


His childhood favorite, unconditionally;

that book of obtuse, heady philosophy;

a mystery novel, racing and fun;

the collected poems of John Donne;

a series of pamphlets and novellas,

currently borrowed from other fellas;

a few kept around, but never read –

“Soon, soon” one thinks in their head.


So worry not your catalog’s size,

your enjoyment of these few is the true prize.

And maintain vigilance against disrepair,

for it is joy to curate a collection so rare.


You will succumb, no doubt, to negligence,

and for this crime there is no penance.

You alone must assume responsibility,

knowing that to go back is futility.


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