I have no idea who E.S. Whipple is but I stumbled upon his quote in a school library. It was he who said that ‘a book is a lighthouse erected in the great sea of time’.
It is that quote which has inspired this poem.
Put a book into the palm of my hand
And I will be its reader.
Without any limitation to what I can readily understand
Or the fodder of the feeder.
Once just a thought, then written down, later published
To a waiting world not yet suspecting.
But in a thousand years could it ever be wished
That the prize of knowledge is worth collecting?
Books are, after all, the cradle of our knowledge,
If not a lighthouse erected in the great sea of time.
They are the benevolence of our cultured college,
Leading us to where we’re surely goin’
Without you, Book, as some part of my life,
I would be despondent and distinctly destitute.
Can there ever be a failing of mankind to permit such suffering and such outright strife
When the force and power of literature is absolute.
Gosh, I still remember that delirious day
When first as a young child, I could read.
How the blessing and good fortune of Gods grace came my way
And showed me difference between greed and need..
Books have an uncanny way of saying things
To you no human being ever can.
Deliverance is simply sourced from eternal springs
To every able-bodied man.
I see the lighthouse over yonder
As I stroll along the beach.
This is a moment to wonder
And feel a sense of destiny within my reach.
What if all the words ever written
Are no more than an inglorious monsoon?
Let rip the sudden storm, unrestrained and unforbidden.
On this October afternoon.
The words have found me, as they will find you too,
So be gladdened and heartily contented.
A poet must do what a poet must surely do,
Write passionate poetry unlamented.
And so I come to express my greatest gratitude
To that lighthouse erected in the great sea of time.
God has willed from me this mystical and marvellous mood
As I have put pen to paper and words to rhyme.
As I stroll further, I’m enveloped by a mist
But the shadow outline of the lighthouse remains.
I have written this poem now. I have reminisced
And Deliverance reigns.