One noon in the library, I watched a man-- imagine!-filling in O's, a little, rumpled nobody of a man, who licked his stub of pencil and leaned over every O with a loving care, shading it neatly, exactly to its edges, until the open pages were pocked and dotted with solid O's, like villages and capitals on a map. And yet, so peppered, somehow the book looked lived in and complete. That whole afternoon, as the light outside softened, and the library groaned woodly, he worked and worked, his o-so-patient shading descending like an eyelid over each open O for page after page. Not once did he miss one, or hover even a moment over an a, or an e or a p or a g. Only the O's-- oodles of O's, O's multitudinous, O's manifold, O's italic and roman. and what light on his crumpled face when he discovered-- as I supposed--odd woords, like zoo and ooze, polo, oolong and odontology! Think now, in that limitless library, all round the steep-shelved walls, bulging in their bindings, books stood, waiting. Heaven knows how many he had so far filled, but no matter, there still were uncountable volumes of O-laden prose, and odes with inflated capital O's (in the manner of Shelley), O-bearing Bibles and biographies, even whole sections devoted to O alone, all his for the filling. Glory, glory, glory! How lovely and open and endless the world must have seemed to him, how utterly clear-cut! Think of it. A pencil was all he needed. Life was one wide O. Anyway, why in the end should O's not be closed as eyes are? I envied him. After all, sitting across from him, had I accomplished anything as firm as he had, or as fruitful? What could I show? a handful of scrawled lines, and afternoon yawned and wondered away, and a growing realization that in time even my scribbled words would come under his grubby thumb, and the blinds be drawn on all my O's. And only his throught for comfort-- that when he comes to this poem, a proper joy may amaze his wizened face, and, O, a pure pleasure make his meticulous pencil quiver.