Poems Without Authors: Memento Mori
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Legend has it that in the early days of the Library — insofar as chronology has any meaning within its halls — there was a person. Or perhaps a creature, or a spectre, or a phenomenon, or a force. Or, quite feasibly, a group thereof. This entity, for reasons unknown, took it upon itself to compose short passages of verse, which it littered around the Library wherever it went. It was rarely observed directly, and then only briefly, but witness testimony all describe a striped jumper, greying beard, and kind eyes behind half-moon spectacles. The accuracy of these accounts is unknown since all other details varied wildly, but the entity or entities were nevertheless given the collective title of Poet(s)-in-Residence, and accumulated a great following through their work.

The activities of the Poet(s)-in-Residence in the present day, if any, are unknown. The last account was over two decades ago, and is now believed to have simply been one patron witnessing another while under the influence of powerful hallucinogens. It is likely that they have left the Library, or else retreated from the prying eyes of its growing populace. However, in the centuries since the Poet(s) first emerged, wanderers of the Library have taken it upon themselves to continue the tradition; it is now common to find scraps of anonymous poetry tucked between the pages of lesser-read books, or carved on the undersides of desks. Some of the oldest and most enduring works have become informal shrines, of sorts — a collective testament to the Library's adoration for literature in all its forms.

Here, Library staff have collated a small volume of these so-called Poems Without Authors, covering the ever-broad topic of death, dying, and the loss or retention of the mind and self. Patrons are able and encouraged to add their own. Think of it as a way of giving back to the original Poet(s) — assuming, of course, that they ever existed at all.

Out-of-Universe Information (sanctioned under Metafictional Guideline A44§3.a)

Scribbled on a magazine in a disused waiting room

No commentary as of yet.

Carved on the office door of Archivist Flamel (deceased)

No commentary as of yet.

In the back pages of The Flying Trapeze by J. Robert. Oppenheimer

No commentary as of yet.

Stuck on a note in a knife kit (used and bloody)

Tell me if the meter sounds off—I was trying to go for something weird here.

Etched onto a solitary tomb within a crypt that has no doors

Penned on the inside cover of a bibliography

Placeholder Avelon: Changed hyphens to dashes.

Written in pencil in a children's book from a darker timeline

This is what I imagine the song "The Worms Crawl In" or "The Hearse Song" would be like in the "End of Death" canon.

Written on the title page of Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica by Issac Newton

Grendelnacht: changed "your" to thy

Written on a lonely gravestone in the forest.

No commentary as of yet.

Inscribed on the inside cover of Take it Easy, Charlie Brown by Charles M. Shultz

Structured it in a sort of irregular beat to mimic the quick thoughts one would jot down before going to sleep

Found on a small paper in the hand of a scorched, unrecognisable body.

No commentary as of yet.

Discovered inscribed across ten separate candles

In pre-industrial Europe, one could be a Nightman, meaning you removed human waste from wealthy individual's outhouses (because the less affluent would just throw their waste out of their windows). Goldfinder was another nickname given to them, and this poem is kind of an exploration of the romanticization of such a disgusting, and sometimes dangerous, task

Scratched hastily in blue ink on a page torn from Lamb to the Slaughter by Roald Dahl

A lot of going along with my hands more than the mind, if anyone can understand what I mean…that would be stream-of-consiousness for you.
I guess.

Found on the Floor of a Bathroom Covered in Blood.

No commentary as of yet.

Carved in the wall of an out-of-the way reading nook

No commentary as of yet.

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