My favorite living American poet, A.M. Juster, just published a Candid Email to the Librarian of Congress, politely applying for the position of Poet Laureate. (#TeamJuster!) This reminded me of a verse I wrote under Juster’s influence while working for the Library, which like many great institutions has a darker human side.
A modern Babel
You whitewashed tomb of human works.
For all the hearts that you have broke;
For all the callous deeds and hurts,
And profane worship of the book
And of man’s knowledge over men’s
And women’s labors unrewarded,
Virtues and sacrifice unknown,
Their humane toil unrecorded:
Let earth and fire together conspire,
And let not wind and water rest
Till ruined be your all-desire,
And all your pride reduced to dust.