by Jim Simpson
I found this bookmark in a 1940s copy of the complete works of John
Keats at the Book Nook on N. Druid Hills Road in Decatur. Written on the back of the bookmark are notes that mirror, to a
much lesser extent, Keats’ own battles with ill health -- his issues,
unfortunately, proved to be fatal.
I imagine this person reading Keats while on a cruise, jotting down helpful hints at combating seasickness. It's a good thing it was Keats and not Byron: “Roll on, thou deep and dark blue Ocean — roll!” Also, I believe this bookmark is from the Borders Book Shop that was at the corner of Roswell and Piedmont, and eventually moved to the corner of Peachtree and Wieuca, finally closing a few years ago. (If any careful readers know for sure, please leave a comment.)
I don’t know if Sarah found David’s little note amusing or not, but I don’t really get it. Is it actually a joke? David either truly liked rap music and was upset that “white people” weren’t properly credited with creating the genre when it was first played to accompany square dancing, or he was miffed that some “black people” claim that Elvis stole rock ‘n’ roll from them. Was “David” the note-writer’s real name, or was he playfully crediting the note to Dickens’ eponymous character in an attempt to endear himself to the gorgeously aloof and unattainable Sarah? Upon closer inspection, the combinations are quite Biblical, and the shouted advice is sound: “DO NOT LOSE.”