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Terry Godwin the laughing poet

Terry Godwin has written a poem about libraries called Golden Treasure.

It was inspired while Terry was in Rainham Library. Terry saw the first book that he read, called The Three Musketeers that reminded him of his long association with public libraries

Our sceptered isles “Golden Treasure”

When I was fourteen on the radio I heard a play on the BBC,

It was about the famous three musketeers, very exciting for me.

I was inspired to go to our local library to read the book.

For many years, twice a week a bus ride I took,

To our library which became very dear to me,

Enabling me to read and enjoy a great selection of books for free.


I absorbed stories of adventure, romance and life which set me on fire,

I developed an insatiable appetite for reading which did not tire.

When I now look back over fifty years ago,

I realise the power books have to make peoples hearts glow.

Books educate you, comfort you, guide you, caution and encourage you.

To young people using libraries helps build their character too.


Libraries are a blessing and vital to any progressive society,

Providing a service, a welcome and literature of the greatest variety.

To many regular visitors they have become a social centre,

Providing a meeting place regardless of class or gender.

Libraries attract young families with a creche and special facilities,

The very young children being encouraged to read according to their ability.


Today libraries provide computers to those who do not have one,

To work upon, to research, write letters, communicate, play games, and have fun.

If we want our world to learn, socialise, make friends and generally progress,

Libraries are a sound homebase to make this ambition a success.

Those who use libraries know they are a valuable asset to us all.

Let us thank their dedicated staff who try hard to satisfy our every call.


On behalf of all who use our wonderful libraries giving us tremendous support and pleasure.

We hereby dub them our nation's “Golden Treasure.”


Download Terry's poem Our Sceptered Isle's "Golden Treasure" (pdf 51KB). To use this file you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not have it on your computer, please use our advice page.

Terry is part of the Rainham poetry group. His laughing poet website includes details of his performances and poetry.