Friday, September 5, 2014
Things to Consider When Closing a Door
I'm afraid I've discovered a new poet. I'll try to go easy on you, not overdo it. This is the one I started with:
"A Brief Lecture on Door Closers"
Although heretofore unconsidered
in verse or in song,
the ordinary door closer is, I submit, a device
well worth considering.
of a spring and a piston, in combination,
here's how it works:
You open a door,
either pushing or pulling.
The spring is compressed, the piston extended.
Now, having passed through the doorway,
you relinquish control,
and the door closer takes over. The spring remembers
how it was—
it wants to return. But the urge is damped
by the resistance the piston encounters,
snug in its cylinder
filled with hydraulic fluid.
Such is the mechanism of the door closer,
invented in 1876
by Charles Norton, when a slamming door
in a courtroom in Cincinnati
the administration of justice.
Whether concealed beneath the threshold
or overhead in the head jamb,
whether surface-mounted as a parallel-arm installation
or as a regular-arm,
door closers are ever vigilant,
silently performing their function, rarely
Whereas doors can be metaphorical—as in,
for example, "He could never unlock
the door to her heart"—
door closers cannot.
Remember this when you
pass through, and the door closes behind you
with a soft thud
and final click
as the latchbolt engages the strike.
~ Clemens Starck (1937), from Traveling Incognito