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April Showers and All That

The Best Thing About April

Welcome April! And welcome to one of my favorite "things" about April . . . 

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Last year, Bonny and Kat and Sarah and I "blasted" you with poetry each Thursday in April . . . and we're going to do that again this month -- starting next Thursday! (So stay tuned.) But I couldn't wait. So I thought I'd get things rolling today . . . with one of my favorite poems about poetry from one of my favorite poets, Billy Collins.

So.
Welcome to April . . . National Poetry Month.
Prepare to be "blasted" with poetry once again!

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The Trouble with Poetry
Billy Collins

The trouble with poetry, I realized
as I walked along a beach one night --
cold Florida sand under my bare feet,
a show of stars in the sky --

the trouble with poetry is
that it encourages the writing of more poetry,
more guppies crowding the fish tank,
more baby rabbits
hopping out of their mothers into the dewy grass.

And how will it ever end?
unless the day finally arrives
when we have compared everything in the world
to everything else in the world,

and there is nothing left to do
but quiety close our notebooks
and sit with our hands folded on our desks.

Poetry fills me with joy
and I rise like a feather in the wind.
Poetry fills me with sorrow
and I sink like a chain flung from a bridge.

But mostly poetry fills me
with the urge to write poetry,
to sit in the dark and wait for a little flame
to appear at the tip of my pencil.

And along with that, the longing to steal,
to break into the poems of others
with a flashlight and a ski mask.

And what an unmerry band of thieves we are,
cut-purses, common shoplifters,
I thought to myself
as a cold wave swirled around my feet
and the lighthouse moved its megaphone over the sea,
which is an image I stole directly
from Lawrence Ferlinghetti --
to be perfectly honest for a moment --

the bicycling poet of San Francisco
whose little amusement park of a book
I carried in a side pocket of my uniform
up and down the treacherous halls of high school.

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Today's poem is from my copy of Aimless Love: New and Selected Poems, Billy Colins, published in 2013 by Random House. You can read more about Billy Collins here.

And if you'd like to learn more about the poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti (mentioned in the poem today), you can read about him and sample some of his poetry here. (He's just fascinating, by the way.)

 

Comments

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kat

I love Billy Colins and Lawrence Ferlinghetti! And this poem! Yes... those are just the best things about poetry. :)

April has become my absolute favorite month! All thanks to poetry! XO

Vera

What a fun poem and, of course, there can never be enough poetry!! As I mentioned in my comment on Kat's blog, I'm looking forward to being blasted with poems from you, Bonny, Sarah and Kat!

kim in oregon

Yay for poetry! Thanks!

Sarah

I love the sense of humor Billy Collins has! I think a lot of people avoid poetry because they think it has to be serious and difficult, but this is a good example of the contrary.

Bonny

Poetry is the best thing about April, and I've enjoyed all the poetry I've been reading to get ready for National Poetry Month. Billy Collins is a real favorite, and I especially like this one, complete with fun ideas, words used so clearly that they conjure up distinct images, and a reference to another poet! Thanks for sharing!

Carole

That's a great poem and I love how accessible Billy Collins is for people (like me) who don't read a lot of poetry. We have a fun library program planned for kids and adults where they will be creating poems by taking a page from a book and blacking out or highlighting words until they have a poem.

Jane

Billy Collins is just what I needed today. Happy April and Happy Poetry Month.

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