Sunday, October 10, 2010

I am The Evening Paper Floating Down an Alley

About a post and 1/2 ago (a 1/2?) I said I wanted to share with you a poem and then I got...sidetracked, to say the least.  Here it is.  I suppose it is meant to be a little "tongue and cheek." You know, the way we are always comparing our loved ones to "things."  But at the end of the day, I think it's truly beautiful.  

Photo by askinimages, flickr

Litany

You are the bread and the knife, 
The crystal goblet and the wine... 
-Jacques Crickillon 

You are the bread and the knife, 
the crystal goblet and the wine. 
You are the dew on the morning grass 
and the burning wheel of the sun. 
You are the white apron of the baker, 
and the marsh birds suddenly in flight. 

However, you are not the wind in the orchard, 
the plums on the counter, 
or the house of cards. 
And you are certainly not the pine-scented air. 
There is just no way that you are the pine-scented air. 

It is possible that you are the fish under the bridge, 
maybe even the pigeon on the general's head, 
but you are not even close 
to being the field of cornflowers at dusk. 

And a quick look in the mirror will show 
that you are neither the boots in the corner 
nor the boat asleep in its boathouse. 

It might interest you to know, 
speaking of the plentiful imagery of the world, 
that I am the sound of rain on the roof. 

I also happen to be the shooting star, 
the evening paper blowing down an alley 
and the basket of chestnuts on the kitchen table. 

I am also the moon in the trees 
and the blind woman's tea cup. 
But don't worry, I'm not the bread and the knife. 
You are still the bread and the knife. 
You will always be the bread and the knife, 
not to mention the crystal goblet and--somehow--the wine. 


Billy Collins

1 comment:

Shelly said...

What I would like to know is this: Who is the dirty dishes that keep piling up in the sink and why don't they have the decency to respect my kitchen?

Just kidding Holly! I actually love this poem. I think some poets take themselves a little too seriously sometimes. :-)