Poem: An Early Elegy for Helm

Maybe if we had spent more time, noses buried between book pages, or more dollars on Java City, we wouldn’t be here now.

And we know that it will get better eventually, as all things do, but what about now?

Really it’s just a library, but really it’s so much more.

Granted this sadness is selfish, because you will return eventually, but only after years have passed and graduations have been held and few remember what you once were.

I will remember naps in your homey rooms, coffee on your comfy couches; to my friends and I you were the home of memories, and

Every student could find a home in you.


How can we take solace in knowing you’ll be coming back? It’s hard to have patience when you’ll return as a stranger with a whole new face, hardly the Helm we came to love.

Even Cravens will groan a creaky cry, when they close your doors for years to pass by.

Let’s not forget your cozy charm, your knowledge bound inside these walls—

May will mean walking through your rooms for a last time, exploring aisles of books that

stretch like Manhattan streets across the upper floor, it will mean


Lament for all the times that our rooms were prison cells, but Helm was quiet freedom.

If you could hear us now in our grief, in the anger we share, as siblings in sadness, you

would argue with us that the space you offer is enough for all, a library home to

Breakthroughs and breakdowns and good news and bad breaks and caffeine boosts

and caffeine crashes and friend groups and first dates (before you know it’s a


Really it’s just a library is like saying really it’s just a hill when you mention Everest or

really it’s just a pond when you ponder the Pacific,

And those labels are unfair to the things they describe in encapsulating their grandeur,

so we call them mountain, ocean— but Helm is our home,

Refuge for the mind, where papers sprout from ideas and degrees are harvested from

the pages of books, where we can waste time or work hard, a retreat from the


You may become the WKU Commons, but Western will always remember you specially

in our hearts, and as anything but common.