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Poem by Marjorie Mir in Honor of National Library Week and Poetry Month

April 3, 2024: Below is a poem written by Marjorie Mir, which MyhometownBronxville is running in honor of National Library Week, which is April 7-13, and National Poetry Month, which is the month of April. 

Marjorie Mir is a retired librarian.  She has published two collections of poetry: The Planet First Observed and Other Poems and Companions: Poems New and Selected.  Considered the poet laureate of The Reformed Church of Bronxville, Mir’s poetry has won recognition in several journals.  She has done readings in Bronxville at the Bronxville Public Library and at the Reformed Church Bronxville, among other places. 


If you believe there was no life

before Google, instant messaging,

that all knowledge is in your back pocket,

feel free to shrug and stride away

from what I am about to tell.

I am speaking to the old,

or old at heart, “old souls,”the wanderers, explorers,

dowsers, spelunkers.

denizens of libraries and their ordered trails.


He left the way well marked,

cairns at needed intervals,

beginning with vagaries of the mind,

ending with a graveyard.


100’s - The Psyche

Here is the supernatural

the ectoplasmic, improbable.

unlikely, but not to be dismissed,

Nothing, in our genome,

in our imagination, will be 

denied its place,

not UFO’s or Tarot cards, palmistry or ghosts.


200’s - Religion

Neighboring, but ascant

from the dream readers, futurists,

soothsayers, shamans

and their faithful

are all the world’s religions,

certified, established, insistent each

on its singularity,

yet, despite ravages,

burnings, decimation,

their tangled roots

tell a common story.

its source a freshened spring.

We kneel and bend to drink.


300’s - Civic Life

And here is community, connection

strictures, laws,

governance, civility, all attempts

to make the many one,

At its end, tellingly,

is the hearth fire, the camp fire,

the circle of listeners,

the tribal elder

chanting our ancestral tales.


400’s - Language

Look! A bench with an inscription:

Sit down with me and let us remember

the words we spoke together.

Words, language this is their place.

Drink them, taste them. Discover.


500’s - The Sciences


The entire universe contained

midge to brontosaurus,

dying star to embryonic cell,

starfish to amaryllis

cliff dwellers to octopus cave,

cratered moon to Krakatoa,

sequoia and fern seed,

pollen and boulder,

all elements, weathers, currents

weighed and measured.

Here is proof wild impossibilities

have been reined and brought to hand.


600’s - Home Life

Come in!

Come away from the lab, the dig,

the telescope.

This is the body’s home place,

its conception and birth,

pain and pleasure,

illness and healing,

home, too, of its manual skills,

the spattered apron, grease-rimmed nails

among its signifiers.

In its confines,

kitchen, workshop, bench,

turn egg whites to meringue,

mend a china cup,

bake a loaf of bread,

seal a broken water pipe.

In short, how to keep home and body

upright and weatherproof,

warmed and fed.


700’s - The Arts

What is your pleasure?

the feast is spread.,

weighted, ripe with fruits

of their labor,

brought from France, Spain, Italy, Holland

and the many from native soil.

Look how the light falls

on that blue-rimmed bowl of peaches.

Among such riches, are others,

the sighting framed, the shutter’s yes.

Pearl in the oyster, diamond in the chute,

found and found again.

Compare, if you choose,

Weegee’s city by night

with Helen Levitt’s day lit children

in full possession of their street,

dancers, scavengers, masqueraders

experts in the work of play.


Here is delight.

Graze, sample, pounce and pluck.


800’s - Literature

Heart’s home to poets

and poetry lovers,

to those whose faces brighten

when the talk turns to books,

the soldier whose shield against bullets

was not a breast pocket Bible

but “Fern Hill,” Dylan Thomas’

hymn to immortality.

He lived, to sing those words again.

Not poetry alone lives here.

The dramatists waiting their little time

upon the stage,

Collections shouldering for space,

but it is poetry that takes pride of place.

Somewhere, a reader’s gravestone

bears not her

dates of birth and death

only her true biography,


910-919 - Travel

This is the world as it has never been,

an open invitation.

No barriers, checkpoints, guard posts.

No papers needed.

Open an Atlas at random,

Let your finger choose,

What? Mid-ocean? No.

Just over there, let your finger

act as dory, an island. Yours.

A cottage waiting, larder stocked.

The perfect summer island.

Walk its paths, breathe it.

It is June, still mod-spring here.

There are lilacs.


909-999 - History

Fitting that the trail should end

as might an old soldier’s

looking backward

at Troy or Hanoi,

Shilo, Yorktown, Baghdad, Guam, Argonne.

The battlegrounds are named,

the fallen young are not.

Who could remember?  So many.

Not the recorders of history.

Only the living who carried them away,

who, on haunted nights,

still carry them,

saying their names to the dark.

History and memory,

two parallel paths.

One will endure, the other fade.


Biography - 920

And so, we come to the graveyard,

most stones marked,

others incomplete;

saints and sinners,

rogues and heroes,

famed and forgotten.

Knowingly, willingly or not,

their lives have fallen into hands

that serve themselves,

may love or celebrate, avenge,

expose, immortalize.

The wise, the cautious will speak

for themselves, invent themselves

or confide in a trusted scribe,

Safe, they believe, while still above ground.

But after?

This graveyard abounds with troubled ghosts,

retelling their stories,

setting them right.

The trail, remember began with ghosts.

Then let it come full circle

with these frangible, changeable lives

asking only to be heard.



Arts Directory

Bronxville Public Library
Bronxville Public Library

The Bronxville Public Library traces its origins back to 1875, when it was a small lending library housed in a room attached to the “Bronxville Model School.” The Library was officially chartered in 1906 and moved into the Village Hall Building. The needs of the library grew with the town and, in 1942, a new standalone building was erected, which is where the Library is today. Over the years, the Library was renovated and expanded to meet the needs of the community.

The Library has wonderful resources for adults and children and offers a comfortable and relaxing environment. The Library also houses a fine art collection, consisting principally of Bronxville painters and sculptors.

The Library offers special events, art exhibitions, and programs for adults, young adults and children. All events are open to the public, unless otherwise indicated.

The Bronxville Public Library
201 Pondfield Road (Midland Avenue & Pondfield Road)

Concordia Conservatory
Concordia Conservatory

Concordia Conservatory, a preeminent center for music education in Westchester County, is a welcoming community where children and adults find lifelong inspiration and joy through learning, performing, listening to, and participating with others in music. Concordia Conservatory, a community outreach division of Concordia College, offers top quality music programs for early childhood, youth, adults and seniors. The Conservatory's vision is to enrich the lives of the people in our community through music.

Executive Director: Kathleen Suss
Concordia Conservatory of Music & Art

171 White Plains Rd
Bronxville, NY

Fine Arts Gallery of Bronxville
Fine Arts Gallery of Bronxville

99B Pondfield Road
Bronxville, New York 10708

Objects and Images Fine Arts
Objects and Images Fine Arts

117 Pondfield Road
Bronxville, New York 10708

The O'Silas Gallery at Concordia College
The O'Silas Gallery at Concordia College
Part of Concordia College New York, the OSilas Gallery integrates the visual arts into the cultural and educational life of our campus and community by providing quality exhibitions and programs that are diverse in style, content, and media. Our programs are memorable, thought-provoking, and spiritually enriching; and of artistic originality, integrity, and excellence.
Womrath Bookstore
Womrath Bookstore
Womrath Bookshop is a located in the heart of Bronxville village. In addition to selling books, the store also sell children's toys and holds readings both at the store and elsewhere in the community, such as at the Library.

76 Pondfield Road
Bronxville, NY
(914) 337-0199

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