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As I rummaged through notes I made 15 years ago, I came across some I made about the inventor of the Dewey decimal System. Where this might appear odd coming from a poet, I think you might agree this note overflows with the essence of poetry. See what you think:

Melvil Dewey (1851-1931), the author of the Dewey Decimal Systems – which reformed the classification efforts of libraries during the late 19th century – got the idea for his system while listening to a sermon in church in 1873, then hurried home to format it by imagining what questions a prehistoric man would have about his life: 100-199 “Who am I? (philosophy and psychology); 200-299 “Who made me?” (religion and theology); 300-399 “Who is the man in the next cave?” (social science); 400-499 “How can I make that man understand me?” (language); 500-599 “How can I understand nature and the world around me?” (natural history and mathematics); 600-699 “How can I use what I know about the world?” (technology); 700-799 “How can I enjoy my leisure time?” (art and recreation); 800-899 “How can I give my children a record of man’s heroic thoughts and deeds?” (literature); 900-999 “How can I leave a record for men of the future?” (geography, biography and history).

Ward Kelley of Wardco Studios

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