Poetry Goal 2020: to read a poem* every day.
My pen moves along the page
like a snout of a strange animal
shaped like a human arm
and dressed in the sleeve of a loose green sweater.
I watch it sniffing the paper ceaselessly,
intent as any forager that has nothing
on its mind but the grubs and insects
that will allow it to live another day.
It wants only to be here tomorrow,
dressed perhaps in the sleeve of a plaid shirt,
nose pressed against the page,
writing a few more dutiful lines
while I gaze out the window and image Budapest
or some other city where I have never been.
SO GOOD. I had misgivings and incorrect assumptions about Billy Collins “the famous poet”; he is too famous. But I had not experienced his work, his poems, with just me sitting with each one. I love his stuff! Mostly, I love the devotion he shows to the time it takes, allows. The time a poem bakes, crafts, comes into being, as if he and he alone, is the messenger, or person only to deliver the package. He sits and waits and plays and writes and then a poem emerges. He makes it seem effortless and yet like he doesn’t really have any choice in the matter. I am grateful that he allows the poems to come to him and then shares them. I very much love his poems about poems.
(Believe it or not, there is a 1-star review on goodreads; very entertaining.)
Rating: FIVE SLICES
Other People’s Poems
Perhaps I should leave other people’s poems to other people,
but I am afraid that left unsaid, they grow, they thicken,’
never mind how they accumulate.
The poems of others—this one’s my brother’s.
Your poem, then, my brother—the weariness of knowing
that what’s done is done, except that then it’s yours forever.
It takes twenty years sometimes to discover it’s not that your secret
is so dark; it’s that it’s always with you.
I am contacting the poet to see what is the best way to purchase a copy of this. (I don’t want to use the big A place… I suppose I should check if the indie bookstore on Block Island has a copy.) I thought this poems impactful, poignant, and relatable to the point that I want to have them to share. Poems about the joys of childhood, and how childhood pain is long-lasting; poems about taking care of parents and old dogs, poems of recognition.
Rating: Five Slices of Pie. Quiche Lorraine and Pumpkin Pie
*Or more. I’m not tracking, I’m just reading. I’m not limiting this experience to one poem a day – that is only the minimum.
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