Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Animation of Billy Collins

Billy Collins is such an accessible poet--even for people who are not big on poetry. He is as quintessentially American as say, Walt Whitman  but more contemporary.  He writes about the ordinary everyday fabric of  American life and leads the reader with humor and grace to moments of profound insight.

I love YouTube too and I love that a number of  Billy Collin's poems have been animated and can be accessed there.  Here's a sample.  Want more?  Here it is.

The Country

I wondered about you
when you told me never to leave
a box of wooden, strike-anywhere matches
lying around the house because the mice
might get into them and start a fire.

But your face was absolutely straight
when you twisted the lid down on the round tin
where the matches, you said, are always stowed.
Who could sleep that night?

Who could whisk away the thought
of the one unlikely mouse
padding along a cold water pipe
behind the floral wallpaper
gripping a single wooden match
between the needles of his teeth?

Who could not see him rounding a corner,
the blue tip scratching against a rough-hewn beam,
the sudden flare, and the creature
for one bright, shining moment

suddenly thrust ahead of his time—
now a fire-starter, now a torch-bearer
in a forgotten ritual, little brown druid
illuminating some ancient night.

Who could fail to notice,
lit up in the blazing insulation,
the tiny looks of wonderment on the faces
of his fellow mice, one-time inhabitants
of what once was your house in the country?


Anonymous said...

I like the poem although I am not a big poetry fan. Nice imagination.

Ahab said...

As I watched that video, I could imagine the hordes of mice shouting "revolution!"

pinkpackrat said...

The thing about Billy Collins is that he makes the everyday into something special -- so cool. BTW I love the idea of hordes of mice shouting " revolution" -- gives me a great visual LOL