Later this month, on the 22nd, poet Billy Collins will be celebrating his 76th birthday. Bloggers are celebrating a little early by posting poems by Bill Collins, today. The one I'm sharing is a recent discovery that I love for its whimsy and for the unasked question with which it leaves the reader.
The Flying NotebookHeidi at My Juicy Little Universe is hosting the Poetry Friday Round-Up. I can guarantee there will be more Billy Collins poems!
With its spiraling metal body
and white pages for wings,
my notebook flies over my bed while I sleep--
a bird full of quotations and tiny images
who loves the night’s dark rooms,
glad now to be free of my scrutiny and my pen point.
Tomorrow, it will go with me
into the streets where I may stop to look
at my reflection in a store window,
and later I may break a piece of bread
at a corner table in a restaurant
then scribble something down.
But tonight it flies around me in circles
sailing through a column of moonlight,
then beating its paper wings even more,
once swooping so low
as to ripple the surface of a lake
in a dream in which I happen to be drowning.
From The Trouble With Poetry and Other Poems, (Random House, 2005).
I love this imagery - a writer's notebook is like a living entity, often with a personality of its own! ;)ReplyDelete
A definite personality--"glad now to be free of my scrutiny and my pen point."Delete
Crazy good. -JetReplyDelete
Wow. This one is definitely new to me. The last line comes as a bit of a shocker, doesn't it? I love that unsettled feeling, though. Thanks for sharing, Diane.ReplyDelete
It leaves you with a big question, or two, or three. What do you mean drowning? In water? In words?Delete
Oh yes, such a good one! He uses such a light touch to deliver the goods. Fabulous metaphor.ReplyDelete
I'm envious that you got to hear him speak!ReplyDelete
Yes, however, he tends to dominate the conversation, which I found a little off-putting.Delete
Even though I own (I think) all of his books, poems keep popping up seeming brand new! I LOVE this one!ReplyDelete
Well, you can't be expected to remember them all! Plus, it means you'll always have something "new" to look forward to!Delete
This poem was new to me as well and that final line is just classic Billy Collins. Love it! Thanks for sharing.ReplyDelete
It was new to me, too, and the white paper wings was too good not to share!Delete
Hi Diane, thanks for Billy Collins ride with "The Flying Notebook" it's wonderful!ReplyDelete
I'll probably share something else of his closer to his birthday. Look for it on my Kurious Kitty blog.Delete
Its another image that, like others, makes me wonder what Billy Collins was imagining in his mind when he wrote. Perhaps that notebook full of words is going to save him from drowning? It is mysterious as you wrote. Thanks, Diane.ReplyDelete
Always fun to puzzle things out!Delete
Thanks for playing along, Diane--and I love that photo so much, of Rita rummaging like a regular person in her purse, and Billy unscrewing the top of his bottle of water like a regular person, getting ready to wow us with his ordinary-sounding, conversational stanza which build imperceptibly to that turn in the final line that tells us he was up to something all along. Perfect!ReplyDelete
The conversations at the Dodge festivals are fabulous. Sadly I haven't been for the last three years.Delete
Ha ha! Those dog-goned notebooks that won't sit still long enough for thoughts or poems. They are fickle friends....but still friends. What a wonderful selection for the celebration. Thank you!ReplyDelete
I'm not a notebook person, but I do write on all sorts of scraps of paper. I can imagine those scraps rising up! The air would be unbreathable.Delete
This reminds me of the Little Princess where the dad says that dolls dance and play while the children are out. Why shouldn't writer's notebooks get to party, too?ReplyDelete
While anyone can appreciate this poem, I think those of us who write feel a little bit closer to the speaker's perspective. Thanks for sharing, Diane!ReplyDelete