Friday, June 11, 2010

Poetry Friday

It's been a difficult, tumultuous week.

Interestingly, after difficult times I find myself thoughtful, introspective, and appreciative of what I have. I seek inspiration and hope everywhere, whether fishing (I caught 7 trout Wednesday night, hurrah!) or reading, hugs or emails.

For Poetry Friday I choose this one, celebrating something that I love.

by Billy Collins
(borrowed from The Writer's Almanac)

From the heart of this dark, evacuated campus
I can hear the library humming in the night,
a choir of authors murmuring inside their books
along the unlit, alphabetical shelves,
Giovanni Pontano next to Pope, Dumas next to his son,
each one stitched into his own private coat,
together forming a low, gigantic chord of language.

I picture a figure in the act of reading,
shoes on a desk, head tilted into the wind of a book,
a man in two worlds, holding the rope of his tie
as the suicide of lovers saturates a page,
or lighting a cigarette in the middle of a theorem.
He moves from paragraph to paragraph
as if touring a house of endless, paneled rooms.

I hear the voice of my mother reading to me
from a chair facing the bed, books about horses and dogs,
and inside her voice lie other distant sounds,
the horrors of a stable ablaze in the night,
a bark that is moving toward the brink of speech.

I watch myself building bookshelves in college,
walls within walls, as rain soaks New England,
or standing in a bookstore in a trench coat.

I see all of us reading ourselves away from ourselves,
straining in circles of light to find more light
until the line of words becomes a trail of crumbs
that we follow across a page of fresh snow;

when evening is shadowing the forest
and small birds flutter down to consume the crumbs,
we have to listen hard to hear the voices
of the boy and his sister receding into the woods.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this...I love Billy Collins...I'm visiting through Sue seeger and will be back.

Linda G. said...

Love that poem. Especially "...reading ourselves away from ourselves." It's a perfect description of what I'm doing when I dive into one of my "comfort books." :)

Susan Adrian said...

Lynn: Thanks and welcome! This one struck right at what I was looking for.

Linda: YES. Exactly that. And what we aim to provide for our readers!

courtney said...

wow. thanks for sharing, suze. x

Susan Adrian said...

C: It's a nice one, eh?