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The Glass Book

Doina Uricariu  the glass book

How could one bring freshness and innocence into the house:
How could you caress it
to make it remember water springs, and roots? 

To regale it with a garden, to bring trees and ivy on the shelves
of the library,
Gelsomine, ficus with waxy leaf, the olive trees,
Yes, bring a garden into the world
bring in this nature and home
by building a library of glass and chlorophyll.

Yes, bring it closer to nature,
and set in the heart of this house
a backbone with chlorophyll vertebrae, so many.  

How would you greet a library, a museum
gathered in a house, with its musical scores
He held the composer’s hand, dripping music?
Yes, how would you speak to the walls full of paintings,
with tapestries the color of cherry,
how would you greet Morgan, Pierpont?
And his guests, so man, on whom he bestowed this collection:
Yes, by building a garden
set in this house’s heart
A chlorophyll backbone.  

And how could the sky also rejoice, above the house of Morgan
of all the books in the library?
How could this sky read also,
along with the diminutive clouds, and the stars,
and the rain and the snow, these books in the library?
How could the sky invite itself into the house
as long as the roof is like a black scarf wrapping its eyes? 

Let there be an immense tent of glass, a pavilion of crystal.
Let there be an immense eye of the House of Morgan.
For the books and the sky above
and all those who have read and written
in front of its giant glass windows.
Let there be built a house like a glass book, and transparent, 
So those inside can be read from the outside
and those outside can be read inside. 

Let the gaze build a transparent bridge
between this shore and the other side,
between those under and above
between those who inhabit the sunrise, and sunset,
between sky and water
Let the world’s eye and the eye of the house
turn inside out like a glove,
the house and its building materials 

Let us read and scribble on the walls with tree leaves
Let us nurture the seeds of wisdom and peace,
Let us see the world anew side by side
at home inside, and at home in the world

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