A Sunday Poem: “Books”


Ottawa needs a new

central library.


The existing facility

– home to 2.3 million items –

isn’t enough.


I remember visiting

the New York Public Library.


An all-marble architectural masterpiece,

stretching across two city blocks

on Fifth Avenue.


Over 100 km of book shelves.


The Rose Reading Room was largely empty.

Tourists were taking pictures.

I recall the bronze reading lamps,

the paintings on the 52-foot-high



By one of the oak tables,

a man reading from his



(Editor’s note: poet Shai Ben-Shalom, an Israeli-born biologist, examines current events in the Blacklock’s tradition each and every Sunday)

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