Home » Poetry » THE DISCO BALL IN THE SULZER LIBRARY (a Sonnet)

THE DISCO BALL IN THE SULZER LIBRARY (a Sonnet)

BEHIND THE POEM: On January 2, 2019, I attended a “Write In; Read Out” hosted by the University of Chicago’s Writer’s Studio. The event featured a 4-hour writing session in the Sulzer Library followed by a 2-hour reading of participants’ work at a local pub. The Writer’s Studio projected wrting prompts and offered suggestions on way to play with language. However, I was inspired by the disco ball on the ceiling (pictured above). The following is one of the pieces I wrote.


Dangling motionless above the silence,

A disco ball hangs in the library.

A vacuum cleaner whines its defiance

to patrons focused and sedentary.

While discos have long since gone out of style,

Their glass-covered balls liven up a space

Whenever they’re spun in the light. Meanwhile

The disco ball screams that it’s out of place.

A room full of writers working on scripts.

All that’s heard is faint scratching from ink pens,

keyboard clicks, page turnings, and zippers zips.

Brought together as colleagues if not friends.

Some people nod and smile to be polite.

This place seems too quiet for me to write.


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