Monday

kwoods(Cold z7 Long Is)July 2, 2012

MONDAY

The birds are in their trees,

the toast is in the toaster,

and the poets are at their windows.

They are at their windows

in every section of the tangerine of earth-

the Chinese poets looking up at the moon,

the American poets gazing out

at the pink and blue ribbons of sunrise.

The clerks are at their desks,

the miners are down in their mines,

and the poets are looking out their windows

maybe with a cigarette, a cup of tea,

and maybe a flannel shirt or bathrobe is involved.

The proofreaders are playing the ping-pong

game of proofreading,

glancing back and forth from page to page,

the chefs are dicing celery and potatoes,

and the poets are at their windows

because it is their job for which

they are paid nothing every Friday afternoon.

Which window it hardly seems to matter

though many have a favorite,

for there is always something to see-

a bird grasping a thin branch,

the headlights of a taxi rounding a corner,

those two boys in wool caps angling across the street.

The fishermen bob in their boats,

the linemen climb their round poles,

the barbers wait by their mirrors and chairs,

and the poets continue to stare

at the cracked birdbath or a limb knocked down by the wind.

By now, it should go without saying

that what the oven is to the baker

and the berry-stained blouse to the dry cleaner,

so the window is to the poet.

Just think-

before the invention of the window,

the poets would have had to put on a jacket

and a winter hat to go outside

or remain indoors with only a wall to stare at.

And when I say a wall,

I do not mean a wall with striped wallpaper

and a sketch of a cow in a frame.

I mean a cold wall of fieldstones,

the wall of the medieval sonnet,

the original woman's heart of stone,

the stone caught in the throat of her poet-lover.

~Billy Collins

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inkognito

Me like.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 5:33PM
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don_socal

Thanks K (shades of "Men in black") like the inward reflection of this one. Brings Jimmy to mind...

Here is a link that might be useful: Come Monday ~ Jimmy Buffett

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 11:22AM
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mylab123(z5NW)

Thanks, I'm glad I stopped by before calling it a night, such good reading here in conversations.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 1:27AM
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tobr24u(z6 RI)

Well, some of it is and some of it isn't...

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 6:29AM
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marshallz10(z9-10 CA)

A good one, kwoods.

Collins is almost accusing modern poets of lassitude and comfortable and distant connections to the meat of poetry. In contrast:

" Just think-
before the invention of the window,
the poets would have had to put on a jacket
and a winter hat to go outside
or remain indoors with only a wall to stare at.

And when I say a wall,
I do not mean a wall with striped wallpaper
and a sketch of a cow in a frame.

I mean a cold wall of fieldstones,
the wall of the medieval sonnet,
the original woman's heart of stone,
the stone caught in the throat of her poet-lover."

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 12:50AM
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