By: Deven Blake

The catalog reveals its entries,
they dance to and fro.
The librarians are posed as sentries,
protecting the knowledge that no one may know.

“Is this what you wanted?”
“Is this what you need
to stop the data
and its unlimited speed?”

“Is this who you wanted
to kill this disease
and stop the information
spreading through the machines?”

No, you may not see the glory!
And you cannot feel the thrill!
The hum of a million stories
is drowned out by the scream of the drill.

We whisper through the hallways
that we'd like to read the books
but instead we're labeled cretins!
and thieves, and baseless crooks!
And, yet, the catalog lays there waiting,
underestimated and all alone.

We're banned from reading its secrets
and we weep when the library is closed.


Deven Blake is 15 years old; he lives in Lewiston, Maine. Questions that inspired him to write this poem include, When we shift the location of analog data to digital data, who will control access to it? What will be lost? And finally, would it be best to have a soulless, forbidden catalog, or a limited selection of carefully guarded literature?