A library in Tripoli, one of the oldest in the country, burnt down last night, taking with it 78,000 books, many of them rare. As someone who’s called libraries home ever since I was a kid, I couldn’t find anything to say when I heard the news, but here’s something.
I used to call places like you home,
where I could escape people
and the problems they create.
Where I could lose myself for hours
in mazes both imaginary
and would only wish to remain lost therein.
Similar abodes I have not visited
for some time, but still they remained to me
sacred hollows of thought and wonder;
safe havens of knowledge and human progress.
Milton once spoke to me, telling me
that murdering your tenants
was akin to stagnation
and the very death of reason.
No truer is this when one bears witness
to the funeral pyre-listening with
faces bleached white with grief and shock,
as silent screams pierce the air and the very being of all else in attendance.
Shocking this scene may be, but certainly
is it no stranger to history and its witnesses.
But who would think, that after all those years
of ignorance-begotten mistakes in days primeval,
that we would witness this monstrosity
in an age dubbed that of “progress” and “reason”?