bookseller doggerel

Whenever I dust a certain shelf, I always pick up Lawrence Romaine’s Weathercock Crows (1955) – Romaine is an old dead Yankee bookseller who was partial to writing poems about the trade. I just can’t bring myself to read the book from cover to cover, it would kinda spoil the surprise treat of reading one now and again. I don’t know much if anything about poetry, I don’t guess they are particularly great poems – but for capturing a slice of life, he does alright.

“Yankee Barometer”

We buy a hundred books a day by mail, o.p. and rare,
We sell as many as we can and in the packing lair
We save the cartons sound and clean,
The papers, cardboards, brown or green
To use again, lest unforeseen,
Another shortage intervene and leave out cupboard bare.

When papers, cartons, boxes, wraps, leave me no path to tread,
I know that business isn’t good, we must be in the red;
But when in this small packing nook,
I only have to take one look
To see there’s naught to pack one book,
I smile – this I can overlook, and buy supplies instead.

– Lawrence Romaine

I wonder who is writing e-commerce poetry?

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