Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Ever Read Francis Thompson's "The Hound Of Heaven? Probably Not...

One of the responsibilities I have in my second job is to organized the bookshelves. This includes not only finding and fixing any books that have been incorrectly put on the shelves, but to make sure they look presentable to the public. I will re-shelve out-of-order books and also bring to the front any books that have been somehow pushed back and are otherwise hidden.

That's how I found Francis Thompson's The Hound of Heaven. I have never before set eyes upon this particular book, and there's a very good chance, neither have you. I even checked the back page. Now, I know that the library converted to a barcode check in/check out system probably 25-30 years ago, so I cannot say with certainty that this book has not been checked out since July 7, 1981. But there's a good chance it hasn't. Especially since the only other time it was recorded being checked out was when the year of the check out was not identified.

No, this little book has been hiding among it's taller, and probably more popular literary siblings. Wikipedia (a completely reliable source...) says the Poet Thompson was influential at the end of the Nineteenth Century, even J.R.R. Tolkien wrote a paper on this book in 1914.

An author can be discouraged by many things. Not only is there the story that's constantly fighting the author inside his/her mind, but there's so many books being written nowadays, and millions of books that have already been written. Will anyone ever read mine?

But if it's written and published, someone may just pick up a copy almost twenty-five years after someone else did and blog about.

Probably not.

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