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Maybe it’s a bat’s wings
at the corner of your eye, right
where the eyeball swivels
into its pocket. But when
the brown of your eye turns
where you thought the white saw,
there’s only air & gold light,
reality—as your mother defined it—(milk/no milk). Not for years
did you learn the word longing,
and only then did you see the bat—
just the fringe of its wings
beating, its back in a heavy
black cloak.

Toi Derricotte. Photography: Tamas Dezso.


For National Poetry month, reblogging a personal favorite - a poem about tobacco in the style of Alexander Pope. From a curious volume found in our National Museum of American History Library entitled The Witching Weed by Albert Sims (1915). Remember, no smoking in the stacks! 

(Alexander Pope) 
". . . Solis ad ortus 
Vanescit fumus." --- Lucan 

BLEST leaf ! whose aromatick gales dispense 
To templars modesty, to parsons sense : 

So raptur'd priests, at fam'd Dodona's shrine 
Drank inspiration from the steam divine. 
Poison that cures, a vapour that affords 
Content, more solid than the smile of lords : 
Rest to the weary, to the hungry food, 
The last kind refuge of the wise and good. 
Inspir'd by thee, dull cits adjust the scale 
Of Europe's peace, when other statesmen fail. 
By thee protected, and thy sister, beer, 
Poets rejoice, nor think the bailiff near. 
Nor less the critick owns thy genial aid, 
While supperless he plies the piddling trade. 
What tho' to love and soft delights a foe, 
By ladies hated, hated by the beau, 
Yet social freedom, long to courts unknown, 
Fair health, fair truth, and virtue are thy own. 
Come to thy poet, come with healing wings, 
And let me taste thee unexcis'd by kings. 

DISCLAIMER: the Smithsonian Libraries does not encourage or condone the practice of smoking tobacco in or outside of the book stacks; or of writing poetry of questionable quality in the style of famous poets.

"or of writing poetry of questionable quality…"  


Today’s #NPRtbt is NPR engineer Dave Glasser carrying a portable reel to reel player.

We can’t confirm who took this photo, but check out that ‘stache!

Find more photos like this one, taken in the mid-1980s, on the NPR Archives page:

"Portable" reel to reel. *impressed*

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