A Ghazal for Morris Library

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Alison Joseph, Director of the Creative Writing program, wrote A Ghazal for Morris Library for the 2009 rededication. A ghazal (pronounced “gussle”) is a poetic form that originated in the 10th century in what is
now modern-day Iran. The form is written in couplets and uses a refrain (here, it’s the phrase “in this place”) throughout the poem. It is a reminder of what happens in Morris Library.

A Ghazal for Morris Library

I come to be fed by words in this place,
rejoicing in voices I’ve heard in this place.
Study here till your sight grows dim and brain grows full;
your faith just might be restored in this place.

Roam from room to room, floor to floor,
no reason to ever be bored in this place.
A theorem, a poem, a thesis, a song—
a symphony might be scored in this place.

Books off their shelves, page after page, you might leave changed,
different than you were before in this place.
Brick and glass will loom strong in sun or rain,
knowledge of our selves assured in this place.

All these hours of writing, thinking, calculating!
Innovation becomes reward in this place.

From continents to centuries, centuries to countries,
such rich histories to be explored in this place.

Caffeine will help keep our weary heads up,
our minds keep open the doors in this place.