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Library Card by India Miller

India Miller was the fifth Young Poet Laureate for Birmingham.

India performed this poem in front of the Duchess of Cornwall at a special event in Centre for the Child.
Find out more in her blog.

Library Card

As the epitome of power,
The finest tool of any bard,
I believe we rather
underestimate the library card.

From the tender age of two or three
We gain an early liberty;
The freedom to choose any book we wish,
And take it home to read

A place of fun, the library,
A brightly-coloured haven
It is spilling out with books which
Are, on shabby tattered shelves, laden

And these, the true objects
Of this ingenious little thing
Worlds seeping into children’s minds
The unimagined imploding

Scenes of places far away
This small card opens whole new worlds
We soar above the wispy clouds
Then gently sink, us creatures furled

And tangled in the swathing mass
Of beanbag on the floor
The cover may be closed, but
Now we hope and dream and more and more...

It may not bring us fortune,
Nor solve all of life’s dilemmas,
But the pages are still there, unseen,
To shed a tear, to hint of a smile

Celebrate the opportunity!
Rejoice for every library! –
We only live once, but in any book
we lead a
double
life.

India Miller, 5 December 2009.