This week's suggestion at Poetry Thursday
goes like this:
" This week’s idea has a two parts (which are both, of course, completely and totally optional):
Part I Write a poem to, for, or about a poet.
Part II Write a letter to a poet and then share it with the Poetry Thursday community on Thursday. "
When I saw the prompt, I thought "Great! I'm not going to have time to write a new poem, but at least I have something close to Part I. I have a poem to a poet's wife". I've long had a crush on Billy Collins
. It's an open secret. Here's the poem:To Mrs. Billy Collins
I hope you get his eggs just right
(I bet he likes them soft, doesn’t he?)
and his coffee – strong, dark, isn’t it?
I know he’s a modern man,
I know he’d fix his own breakfast
and I don’t expect
you to do it.
But I would, if I were you.
I know I would.
While he’s working – sitting at a window,
looking out, wool-gathering, wondering –
do you watch him? I would, I’m sure.
I’d drive him mad, with watching him.
Does he – while you’re eating dinner, say –
does he pause between mouthfuls
and utter a phrase,
like another man might comment
on the rising (or falling)
of the Dow Jones index?
And are you accustomed to that?
Is it just a matter of course,
ordinary? Does he – when he sleeps at night,
tell me – does he snore?
And when he reads aloud,
a few lines,
testing them out,
does your heart lift,
the way mine does?
Part II of the exercise is to write a letter to a poet. I suppose it's only fair that I should complete it. Here goes....
I mean, Dear Mr. Collins,
Forgive my forwardness. Forgive the cheek of my poem. Forgive me for my besottedness. It's not you. It's your poetry. Maybe it is you, but I doubt it. It's not that you're unattractive, but I know (and hope you won't be offended when I say this), that if I passed you on the street, and didn't know who you were, well, I would just pass you. I wouldn't particularly notice you. Maybe. And then, maybe I would. Because you have a way of pausing, there's a look in your eye when you're just about to say something, and if I passed just as you were giving the world that look, I might catch it.
Oh... This is not where this letter was meant to go. I meant to tell you about the poems that make me catch my breath. The poems I have
to share with people. "The Dead" - I force people to read that, and the one about Angels. I meant to say what it meant to me to hear you read; how I count myself as lucky, lucky, lucky to have had that chance, not just once, but twice.
My friends tease me. I have been seen to blush when your name is spoken. I know... ridiculous. You're not a pop-star. You're not Robert Redford. But you are a man who has a soul, a living, active, real, soul that shows itself in poetry, and my soul comes to life when I read your words.
Thank you for them. Thanks to Mrs. Collins for looking after you.
Your Number One Fan.
OK. My big secret's out. You can read about other poets over at Poetry Thursday
Labels: Billy Collins, Poetry Thursday