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A World of Information: A Click Away Is Convenient, But…
David Henson


Tasked to write an essay about trains,
I might’ve wandered for a while
about the library, enjoying
the musty odor and hush
‘til I found an army of encyclopedias
standing at attention,
ready to serve.
Instead of reaching straight
for T, I might’ve touched A,
bumped my finger over
shiny, crimson spines,
lingering at E
to read about the weight
and memory of elephants,
marvel at the glossy
photo of an eagle, wings
spread in a cerulean sky.
Maybe I’d overshoot,
curious about witch spells
and whale spouts.
I might’ve tested my strength,
hefting two, even three
volumes (at least one more
than the year before).
I would’ve written about billowing smoke
and clattering wheels,
but enjoyed the ride even more.

© by David Henson.
Used with the author's permission.


David Henson is the author of two chapbooks and his award-winning work has appeared in a variety of online and print journals. In addition to writing, David enjoys playing classical and boogie woogie piano. David and his wife have lived in Belgium and Hong Kong over the years, but now live in Illinois, where they enjoy walking with their dog. Learn more about David at



Post New Comment:
There's nothing like a book with its vivid, true colors. No monitor tone differences, just the physical page. The feel of turn pages into new exciting explorations and subject adventures. Loved your journey thru the library encyclopedia including the weight of it all! Very much remembered and appreciated. Thank you David.
Posted 05/23/2023 12:19 PM
The happy incidental discoveries of perusing an encyclopedia, or the card catalogI miss those days!
Posted 05/02/2023 02:53 PM
Lori Levy:
Great details of what you might have looked up.
Posted 05/01/2023 05:45 PM
Thanks to all of you who are commenting. Much appreciated ! David Henson
Posted 05/01/2023 11:48 AM
A wonderful poem! There is no doubt that the internet offers huge advantages in terms of immediate access to the world's knowledge, but we have also lost the unquantifiable value of wandering about in encyclopedias and dictionaries and newspapers.
Posted 05/01/2023 10:54 AM
When in my youth I complained to my mother that I had nothing to do . . . she sat me down at the table and piled Britannica's in from of me, commanding, READ! That is how I fell in love with words, their shapes, their beauty, their power. She died decades before I published. She would have been pleased. Nicely done, David.
Posted 05/01/2023 09:09 AM
Tom Sharpe:
Raised when books held the knowledge, and preferring a book to electronic devises, I miss time spent in libraries doing research for school papers. Great poem.
Posted 05/01/2023 09:06 AM
Wilda Morris:
Oh, yes! There are definite advantages to books. Well-written.
Posted 05/01/2023 08:29 AM

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