The Rime of the Ancient Librarian

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The Rime of the Ancient Librarian
Or: The Kierkegaardian Kirche-Guardian of the Collection

  Friends and Romans and Good Old Buddies,
In the spirit of Ancient Studies,
Today we study an ancient librarian
Who’s skipping out since he’s a “sexagenarian.”
(That’s a term we can use in company that’s mixed, see:
It simply means that he’s older than sixty.)

Idealists and realists, now come join with Socrates
In the spirit of Eastern and Western philosophies,
As we cogitate the meaning of a Socratic career
That now shrinks to zero as all duties disappear.
Yet Gary shall not imitate that wise and ancient Greek
By retiring mind and body so totally this week:
Thus, in the reception that shall follow
No hemlock is provided for Gary to swallow.

All we hawks and doves and pigeons,
In the spirit of true Religion,
All we fluttering faithful flocks,
Both paradox and orthodox,
Let us here be congregated
While Gary the Gillum is celebrated.

As we look back from MMVII,
What are the scenes that to our memory fly?

We see Gary seated at his organized desk
Or working on committees that are Kafkaesque.
We smell the moldy books he has assessed,
We hear from the students he has blessed,
We feel he is unique in the Intermountain West,
And for this we are grateful and impressed.

Guiding students through Greek complexes,
Indexing Dialogue or dialoging indexes,
Reading the Gesamtausgabe of Nietzsche quite simply,
Or sharing years of expertise on Hugh W. Nibley,
Gary clearly saw his mission as Wisdomologist,
So now we say to him: “Vision Accomplished.”
(He doesn’t have to land on a carrier deck
For us to see the magnitude of his trek.)

Today we’ve been inspired by Gillumnian mouthy words
Before he retires to his land southwards
Through and past a narrow neck of land
We call East Bay, that’s full of sand,
Even unto Springville, where he now
May peace and quietude upon himself endow.

But if we know Gary, and I think we do,
His work will never be finished or through.
Twiddling his thumbs and stretching his toes
Is not the kind of life that Gary knows.
It’s certain that he and his Signe-ficant other
Will take on one task after another.

Out of the books which shall be written,
Let negativity be forbidden.
Let every kindred and tongue and people
Shout it from the rooftops, ring it from the steeple:
Verily, verily, it shall come to pass
That all earthly joy he shall surpass.
We hope he will accept our wishes and fulfill ‘em:
That is the destiny of Gary P. Gillum.

Dick Hacken,
5 December 2007