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I yearn to own books, I repeat,
I yearn to own,
books celebrated, remember,
not read, not to be known.

Majestic as they are, of course,
majestic they were.
Behind the glass door, quiet,
no growl, no purr.

I attack with intent, fierce,
I attack, possess, and shelve.
Legend you might be, rascal,
keep your intellect to yourself.

Hesse, found a way, hooray,
But Hesse, hey, I did tame.
Siddhartha escaped, the hermit,
but not the Glass Bead Game.

So languish, those maestros, dears,
so pleasing, they in anguish.
Ibsen, Mann, Karnad, Premchand, cry,
what else are to we do, to distinguish?

Some have escaped, sadly,
some like Henry Miller.
With Rosy Crucifixion, old lecher,
he lunched on the killer.

I’ll shut the last door, Miller,
I’ll fell you down.
Let it beware of my sloth, yawn,
your Tropic of Capricorn.

As the books lie shelled, wrenched,
as old lions in a zoo,
Visitors congratulate me, bravo,
not knowing which captive is who.

I promise from here on, pledge,
I promise, I’ll continue,
to buy every writer, regal,
to arrest books old and new.