Poem for the National Library of Wales centenary

Centenary Greetings to the National Library of Wales
from the National Library of Scotland

Your lucent beam penetrates the ether
we now call cyberspace, as in olden days
bonfires were harbingers of momentous news.

Hearths of culture, our National Libraries
are conflagrations still; stacked embers
eagerly waiting to be fanned into flame.

Guardians of a written heritage, their array
of hushed tables and computer screens
is a cartographers' cornucopia, nirvana

for researcher and agoraphobic bookworm.
Within their labyrinthine treasury
archival recesses house rare Books of Hours

handled with white gloves, digital mirrors,
encyclopaedic continents on the head of a pin.
Congratulations on your centenary —

and in celebration, see emblazoned
against the sky our rampant Lion
in reciprocal embrace with your red Dragon.

Stewart Conn


For the story behind this poem, visit our archive news page.

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