WITH ARABESQUES TO FORMER REFERENCE LIBRARY

by Robin Boothroyd

photo: Haggerston Library by Jamie Barras

photo: Haggerston Library by Jamie Barras

I don’t know about you but I find the listing text for Haggerston Library incredibly difficult to understand. The syntax, the register, the vocabulary … it’s baffling. I tried to understand it better by rewriting it as a poem which, in addition to a learning exercise, would be a (subtle) critique of the government’s library closures.

***

With Arabesques to Former Reference Library

Stone steps rise to fielded 6-paneled door;
projecting porch has Corinthian columns,
and tablet set in broken pediment.
Channelled rustication to basement
and ground floor, with band of key ornament
broken
by moulded ground-floor window architraves,
which have enriched ornament, bracketed cills
and ornamental cast-iron guards;
plain friezes, beneath cornices brought
forward from moulded story bond, are inscribed
SHOREDITCH / LIBRARY / HAGGERSTON / BRANCH.

***

It’s unclear when Haggerston Library closed its doors, but given that the building is now a block of flats it must’ve been a while back. Libraries are vitally important to learning and creativity, and must be protected. Use this map to find out about the cuts in your local area, including how to petition local governments. Click here for more found poems.

Advertisements