Tuesday, 8 June 2010
When is a Book more than a Book? : Penny Dolan
Came across this 10th Century riddle* in Dublin’s Book of Kells Museum a fortnight ago:
One of my enemies ended my life
Sapped my world strength, afterwards staked me
Wetted in water . . .
Set me in the sun where soon I lost
The hair which I had.
And then the hard knife edge cut me . . .
Fingers folded me, and feather of a bird
Traced all over my tawny surface
With drops of delight . . .
Then, for trappings, a man
Bound me with boards, bent hide over me,
Glossed me with gold and so I glistened
Wondrous in smith-work, wire encircled.
Say what I am called,
Useful to man. Mighty my name is,
A help to heroes, and holy am I.
Can’t quite see the e-reader being written about with such awe, can you?
(Wish I wasn't posting this on a day when such grim "plans" for libraries are being broadcast.)
*The poem is about the making of a vellum book.