Wednesday, April 30, 2008
another offering for Poetry Month
My friend Kathy bought me a book of poetry called NINE HORSES by Billy Collins.
Drink this poem in....small sips recommended:
Night Letter to the Reader
I get up from the tangled bed and go outside,
a bird leaving the nest,
a snail taking a holiday from its shell,
but only to stand on the lawn,
an ordinary insomniac
amid the growth systems of garden and woods.
If I were younger, I might be thinking
about something I heard at a party,
about an unusual car,
or the press of Saturday night,
but as it is, I am simply conscious,
an animal in pajamas,
sensing only the pale humidity
of the night and the slight zephyrs
that stir the tops of the trees.
The dog has followed me out
and stands a little ahead,
her nose lifted as if she were inhaling
the tall white flowers,
visible tonight in the darkened garden,
and there was something else I wanted to tell you,
something about the warm orange light
in the windows of the house,
but now I am wondering if you were even listening
and why I bother to tell you these things
that will never make a difference,
flecks of ash, tiny chips of ice.
but this is what I want to do--
tell you that up in the woods
a few night birds were calling,
the grass was cold and wet on my bare feet,
and that at one point, the moon,
looking like the top of Shakespeare's
appeared, quite unexpectedly,
illuminating a band of moving clouds.
This poem does what all good art does-it makes my heart fill as I recognize myself in it, and I say, "yes! that is exactly it!" and I realize once again that I need to tell you so many things. I feel inspired. Alive.
There are not enough hours.