Saturday, March 23, 2013

Litany : Poem In Your Post

You are the bread and the knife,
The crystal goblet and the wine...
-Jacques Crickillon

You are the bread and the knife,
the crystal goblet and the wine.
You are the dew on the morning grass
and the burning wheel of the sun.
You are the white apron of the baker,
and the marsh birds suddenly in flight.

However, you are not the wind in the orchard,
the plums on the counter,
or the house of cards.
And you are certainly not the pine-scented air.
There is just no way that you are the pine-scented air.

It is possible that you are the fish under the bridge,
maybe even the pigeon on the general's head,
but you are not even close
to being the field of cornflowers at dusk.

And a quick look in the mirror will show
that you are neither the boots in the corner
nor the boat asleep in its boathouse.

It might interest you to know,
speaking of the plentiful imagery of the world,
that I am the sound of rain on the roof.

I also happen to be the shooting star,
the evening paper blowing down an alley
and the basket of chestnuts on the kitchen table.

I am also the moon in the trees
and the blind woman's tea cup.
But don't worry, I'm not the bread and the knife.
You are still the bread and the knife.
You will always be the bread and the knife,
not to mention the crystal goblet and--somehow--the wine.

                                 - Billy Collins

Happy Birthday, Billy.

I'm a fan of your populist ethos and breezy cleverness, although some disparage you for your accessibility.

I say, today, let us celebrate poets who make poems a pleasure for all.

I raise my class half full to you, BC.


Skeptical? Enjoy these:


Parrish Lantern said...

Hotel Insomnia - Haris Vlavianós

at night
with the full moon of contradictions
shining on the dome of your mind

you are thinking of changing roles
of finally taking the mask of grief off

enchanted by the possibilities of your feelings you wrote:

only love as passion has meaning
every profound spirit needs a mask
– thus the subtlety of its embarrassment demands

under this predictable sky
you want to think
that the avenue stretching at your feet
ends somewhere –
to a final resolution of the matter
to a synopsis that will allow you to stand in awe of
the predestined unfolding of the story

your story –

in whose dramatic episodes
you seek to recognize the beckoning of affirmation
the assurance of reward

the light is glaring
“the light is always glaring”

it is late though
to leaf through the moment (life is not an argument)

no one feels like reading any more
neither do you (let the texts speak)
who exhausted by the intensity
of the last hours
pick up the phone

“a double espresso”

(as always the best sleeping pill)

As the Crowe Flies and Reads said...

That little boy reciting the poem is wonderful. I've never read/heard this poem before but I'm about to share it with my husband.

Heaven forbid that poetry be accessible. What a dreadful shame *that* would be.

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