Five Poems That Changed My Life: Day 4

(Inter)national Poetry Month

Day Four!

I’m not going to lie to you – the below poem is a place holder. Albert Goldbarth is still the poet but the poem that truly changed my life was waaaay too long to put in this post. The actual title of Goldbarth’s poem that had an intellectual and life changing effect on me was: The Library.

Which can be found: here.

Do yourself a favour and click the link. The poem is on the long side, but it is quite an easy and entertaining read. The poem is just a long list where each line starts off with ‘This book’ and then goes on to detail all sorts of books. So once again, click the link ๐Ÿ™‚

For those of you who are interested, The Library has previously been featured on my blog. In my post ‘Top Five Fictional Libraries,’ I have Goldbarth’s poem listed as number two on my top five list. If you’re interested in seeing what else makes my list, head on over and give it a read ๐Ÿ˜€

The Library poem is a list poem and list poems are my jam, yo. My undergraduate degree was a mixture of Writing/Ancient History/Cultural Studies and my main writing focus ended up being poetry because it is awesome. After I first read The Library, I knew I had found my favourite style. Over the years I’ve written many list poems and I can say that they are incredibly fun to write and would encourage anyone who is interested to give them a go!

The below poem, while not the life changing The Library poem, is still one of Goldbarth’s that struck a chord within me. I really love the below poem and think its incredibly sweet, so I hope you enjoy, The Sciences Sing a Lullabye.


For me The Sciences Sing a Lullabye, is a soft and very loving poem. The lullabye is one that both fills me with hope and gives me a sense of awe at the natural world. I am also a sucker for the stanza style where they each start with “Physics/Geology/Astronomy says,” and the last stanza which is a culmination of the first two.

Of Goldbarth’s poetry that I have read (not a lot as I haven’t been as captivated by all his work as the other poets featured this week) I have enjoyed his ability to capture moments. This is true in The Library as well, as each book that he details in his library can be given to moments, snippets of life, or experiences.

The Sciences Sing a Lullabye is a soft yet all encompassing – for me it is like just before falling asleep, the wondering thoughts that fill my head, the awe and depth of the universe, and all the ways in which it can be viewed – experienced through the sciences.

What do you think? Is it a soft lullabye or a harsh reminder of the futility of life? The poem can be seen as a hard and clinical look at the world, or it can be seen as the soothing lullabye, the soft exhale of the nature of life.

Did you read The Library? Are you now a huge fan of list poems or did you hate it, question how it is even a poem? Let me know ๐Ÿ™‚

Poem month comment

4 thoughts on “Five Poems That Changed My Life: Day 4

  1. Ooh, I love list poems. I think you recommended them to me years ago at uni and I sort of became obsessed. They have been my favourite ever since, but I admit I haven’t found many list poems anywhere since. The library is kind of an amazing poem — it’s also the first poem to make me laugh out loud!

    As for The Science Sings A lullabye, I read it more as a sweet lullable calling an addled mind to gently drift off to sleep. I like the way it reassures, soothes and kind of just relaxes the reader, while continuing with the allusions to sleep. The history line is strong and powerful too. Thanks for bringing it to my attention ๐Ÿ™‚


    1. It’s super hard to find list poems, especially ones that are good ๐Ÿ™‚ And sweet, yeah I really find the Sciences one relaxing too. It’s like a cozy reminder of all the things that are going on and that we are safe to fall asleep ๐Ÿ™‚ Glad you liked them both โค


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