Good morning Hank, it’s Tuesday I can’t find my Norton Anthology of Poetry I don’t mean *the* Norton Anthology of Poetry which can be purchased from any bookstore I mean *my* Norton Anthology of Poetry or, more specifically, my friend Chip’s Norton Anthology of Poetry that I borrowed from him in 11th grade and then eventually stole. The 3rd edition of the Norton Anthology of Poetry is a deeply flawed book for one thing, it contains almost no poems from the last 40 years on account of having been published 35 years ago but it is *my* deeply flawed book, or at the very least, Chip’s and I can’t find it.
One of the central facts of my life is that no matter how many times I reorganize my home library in any given moment I will. not. be able to find the book that I desperately *need* Like, I can always find the New York Public Library’s guide to organizing your home library *except* when I’m embarking on a library reorganization And I can always find my 9th grade copy of 100 poems by e e cummings *except* when it’s March and I want quote that poem about Spring being like a “perhaps hand which comes carefully out of Nowhere” etc. Right now I have no problem locating Everything You Need To Know About The Goth Scene I can find plenty of copies of the Swedish edition of Turtles All The Way Down, and its AMAZING cover but I can not find my Norton Anthology of Poetry It’s not with the poetry It’s not with the Hot Wheels Ultimate track It’s not in the bookshelf behind our bed And it’s not in the background of this video set, although while we’re here… Two books I’ve really enjoyed reading recently are this extraordinarily engrossing biography of Joseph Conrad, which are not words I ever thought I would say and Dactyl Hill Squad which doesn’t come out until September but I’ve been reading an advanced copy with Henry it’s about orphans in the Civil War who ride dinosaurs and IT IS AMAZING but that is a tangent
WHERE IS MY Norton Anthology of Poetry! I mean this is ridiculous. I’ve been looking for my Norton Anthology of Poetry for an entire day I haven’t been able to write a vlogbrothers script because I’ve been looking for my Norton Anthology of Poetry, which, ergo, *has* to become the topic of today’s vlogbrothers video IT’S A THREE POINT TWO POUND BOOK. Nobody like takes a 3.2 pound book on vacation and leaves it there. And yes I know that I could just google the poem I want to read but I don’t *want* to google it, I want to read it in my Norton Anthology of Poetry which HAS to be somewhere in this house I mean it’s not like I would have taken it out of the h- … [whispered] wait a second Could it be at the office? Okay I’m going to drive to the office to look for my Norton Anthology of Poetry and if I don’t find it I *am* going to let it go. *maybe* I’m on my way to my office.
C’mon, big money, no whammies! YES! YES! YES!
My Norton Anthology of Poetry! YEEEEAAAASSSSSS [reading whole poem] The house was quiet and the world was calm. The reader became the book; and summer night Was like the conscious being of the book.
The house was quiet and the world was calm The words were spoken as if there was no book,
Except that the reader leaned above the page, Wanted to lean, wanted much most to be
The scholar to whom his book is true, to whom The summer night is like a perfection of thought.
The house was quiet because it had to be. The quiet was part of the meaning, part of the mind:
The access of perfection to the page. And the world was calm. The truth in a calm world,
In which there is no other meaning, itself Is calm, itself is summer and night, itself
Is the reader leaning late and reading there Oh! it’s every bit as good as I remember and just what I needed today. Hank, I will see you on Friday.