by Lauren Teh (United Arab Emirates)
Audio: "Library," read by Lauren Teh
Soft sliding susurrations, light lift of page,
A sigh, a huff, a breath, murmurs in the murky quiet,
Rustling, shuffling, low thunder of a rolling ladder,
A blurted sentence, shhh, muffling curtain of silence.
Broken intermittently with creaks of rusted lamp joints, squealing—
Footsteps, echoing down the aisles, ricocheting off the high ceiling arches
Tuff, tuff, tuff, hush! Absorbed by fabric-bound spines, standing proud,
Lined up on infinite shelves, yawning down the literary corridor of the ages—
Clatter of a dropped pen, careless student cramming, crying indistinguishably.
The books bend close, whispering inaudibly little nothings of comfort:
Hush, hush, hush, you’re not alone.
Lauren Teh is a 15-year-old writer from Singapore. Born, raised, and currently based in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, Lauren is a huge bookworm and loves to write short stories, essays, and half-hatched novels with a touch of magic and a good sprinkle of wordplay shenanigans. In her poem “Library,” she attempts to recreate the quiet yet vibrant atmosphere of a library and provide some assurance to the terrified students like herself.
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9/24/22, 2:13 PM
Was this inspired by flights over Iceland?
9/24/22, 10:04 AM
Amazing. I love it.
9/23/22, 7:34 AM
This is just so good!!!! "The air has been poisoned' I love how you describe things! Congrats :))
9/23/22, 7:32 AM
Love the message! The way you prompt the readers to rethink over 'is anything free' is so effective and the ending is...gorgeous.
9/23/22, 7:30 AM
Gosh, Antara...this is really beautiful! I love your use of language, and the anecdotes were so effective!! Congrats so much :))
9/22/22, 9:30 PM
I love it! Especially the part where you say if humans can control the world, they can control themselves too!
Keep up the brilliant writing!
9/22/22, 5:22 PM
Poignant and so beautifully written!
9/22/22, 5:19 PM
I love the flow, this is gorgeously written! Great piece!
9/22/22, 5:17 PM
Life really is all about the little things and you wrote about them in a beautiful way!
9/22/22, 5:16 PM
This is a lovely piece, Keren-Happuch! It provokes such a magical and dreamy feeling.
9/19/22, 5:47 PM
Oh my god, the part about changing the mindset given the pre-existing beliefs drilled in by those around us... Even we often hesitate to have these conversations at times amongst friends as this topic is seldom more than a subject of twss jokes. You put it into words brilliantly!
9/17/22, 6:46 PM
this was thought-provoking! I particularly enjoyed how you connected existentialism to the topic. it provides a different perspective.