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San Fran Public Library Makes Super Bowl Bet With Baltimore Library

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Super Bowl FootballIn what’s being called a “cross-country battle of the libraries,” the San Francisco Public Library has challenged the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore to a poetry reading dedicated to the winning football team’s city. Wearing the winning jersey, of course.

If the 49ers win the Superbowl on Sunday, Pratt Library CEO Carla Hayden must recite George Sterling’s iconic San Francisco poem, “The Cool, Grey City of Love” in Baltimore’s Central Library Main Hall while wearing a 49ers jersey.

If the Ravens win , the San Francisco city librarian Luis Herrera will have to recite Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” in the atrium of the San Francisco Main Library wearing a Ravens jersey.

“We are confident about the Niners victory on Sunday and we sure hope Dr. Hayden looks good in red and gold,” chirped Herrera. “As a huge sports fan, I am thrilled to support our football team while spotlighting two great library systems and two great literary cities.”

Who will win?  Which poem will be recited in the defeated  city’s library? If anything, I love the notion of promoting literacy and literacy expression . Perhaps we will see a similar poetic competition in Boston’s city library next year,  Mr. Potwin.  Go  NE Pats!

“The Cool, Grey City of Love”

Tho I die on a distant strand,
And they give me a grave in that land,
Yet carry me back to my own city!
Carry me back to her grace and pity!
For I think I could not rest
Afar from her mighty breast.
She is fairer than others are
Whom they sing the beauty of.
Her heart is a song and a star–
My cool, grey city of love.

Tho they tear the rose from her brow,
To her is ever my vow;
Ever to her I give my duty–
First in rapture and first in beauty,
Wayward, passionate, brave,
Glad of the life God gave.
The sea-winds are her kiss,
And the sea-gull is her dove.
Cleanly and strong she is–
My cool, grey city of love.

The winds of the Future wait
At the iron walls of her Gate,
And the western ocean breaks in thunder,
And the western stars go slowly under,
And her gaze is ever West
In the dream of her young unrest.
Her sea is a voice that calls,
And her star a voice above,
And her wind a voice on her walls–
My cool, grey city of love.

Tho they stay her feet at the dance,
In her is the far romance.
Under the rain of winter falling,
Vine and rose will await recalling.
Tho the dark be cold and blind,
Yet her sea-fog’s touch is kind,
And her mightier caress
Is joy and the pain thereof;
And great is thy tenderness,
O cool, grey city of love!

“The Raven “

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore —
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“‘Tis some visiter,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door —
            Only this and nothing more.”

as found  on


Author: spotwin

While I am a librarian , I am a reading cheerleader. The purpose of this library blog is to better promote reading and information literacy to community. I love books, reading to my son,properly placed apostrophes,canoeing, locating the nearest Starbucks, cheering the Montreal Canadians, and Cherry Garcia ice cream.

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