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day 27, poem 21

I've been heavily using Wikipedia as a resource for writing my poems. This one is sort of a tribute to the folks who create and maintain Wikipedia.

(xposted to poets_challenge and 100poems)

incunabulum

the apprentice bends, in candle light,
positioning thin metal slugs one by one -
his devotion as precise
as that of monastic scribes.
"as early as in the 15th century some nobles refused to have printed books in their libraries to sully their valuable handcopied manuscripts." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Printing_press
pledging to harmonize beauty and truth,
that ever-estranged couple,
with each ligature, each
hand-fed sheet -
he's dust in an old churchyard now, while
"While it might take someone a year to hand copy a Bible, with the Gutenberg press it was possible to create several hundred copies a year, with two or three people that could read, and a few people to support the effort." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Printing_press
deep in the rare book vault
of some academy,
his incunabulum rests,
above the teeming stacks
of pages, words,
ideas, connections -
his legacy.
"In general, knowledge came closer to the hands of the people, since printed books could be sold for a fraction of the cost of illuminated manuscripts. There were also more copies of each book available, so that more people could discuss them." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Printing_press

In 1476 [William Caxton] returned to England and established a press at Westminster. A year later, the first English book published in England, Dictes or Sayengis of the Philosophres, was printed. His press is also famous for two editions of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, Gower's Confession Amantics and Malory's Morte d'Arthur. http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/caxton_william.shtml

word list: slug (n), academy, couple (n), different, pledge (v)

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