Wednesday, August 01, 2012

A Rockower Grows in Brooklyn

The Brooklyn Public Library through the joining of municipal enterprise and private generosity offers to all the people perpetual and free access to knowledge and the thought of all the ages. 


My plans for the virtual office at Yankee Stadium had to take a rain check on account of drizzle.  I worked in my home office for most of the day.  When I decided I needed to get out, I wandered my way in the rain to the Brooklyn Public Library.  I was greeted by a bevy of beautiful words and gilded figures covering the facade.  The quotes above and below are from this fine edifice.

Here are enshrined the longing of great hearts and noble things that tower above the tide, the magic word that winged wonder starts, the garnered wisdom that never dies.


Farther than arrow, higher than wings, fly poet’s song and prophet’s word. While men have wit to read and will to know, the door to learning is the open book. The world for man, with all it may contain, is only what is compassed by the mind.

I go into my library & history rolls before me – I breathe the morning air of the world while the scent of Eden’s roses yet lingers on it – I see the pyramids building, I hear the shoutings of the armies of Alexander.

Of all men’s creations, books are the nearest to us for they contain our very thoughts, our ambitions, our indignations, our illusions, our fidelity to truth, and our persistent leaning toward error.

He hath never fed of the dainties that are bred in a book – he hath not eat paper, as it were – he has not drunk ink – his intellect is not replenished – he is only an animal, only sensible in the duller parts.

Read not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted, nor to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and to consider. Some books are to be tasted, some others to be swallowed & some few to be chewed and digested.

The spirit and the senses so easily grow dead to the impressions of the beautiful and perfect that one ought every day to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.

In books lies the soul of the whole past time, the articulate audible voice of the past, all the mankind has done, thought, gained or been – it is lying as in magic preservation on the pages of books.

Read with humility, simplicity, and faith, and seek not at any time the fame of being learned.

The spoken word perishes but the written word endures.

Come and take choice of all my library and so beguile thy sorrow.


With equal care weigh well the record of the wisdom and the folly of mankind.


Books are the treasured wealth of the world, the fit inheritance of generations.

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