Bring On The Poetic Playfulness

Unknown-5Last night, Billy Collins came to town for a reading at Bexley (OH) High School.  The 2001-2003 poet laureate is my all-time favorite poet, and sitting in the packed auditorium with other Collins enthusiasts, I figured out why.

It’s his playfulness that grabs me.  He makes fun of the poet, whose chief occupation is to stare out the window.  But with the world in his observation tank, Collins lets his mind poke around wherever it pleases. He  imagines on a snow day three girls plotting to bring down “some small queen” at one of the schools on the closing list. He playfully becomes a boy, whose aging bike has “all the dark blue speed drained out of it,” dreading his 10th birthday with the moans of an adult. And those real memories that slip from us with age?  They retired “to a little fishing village where there are no phones.”

The pleasure of his poetry reminds me that a little more time spent staring out of windows, curious and taking it all in,  might stoke the creativity in all of us. Why let our minds rush by in business casual when they could be out in the world wearing play clothes?

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2 Responses to “Bring On The Poetic Playfulness”

  1. Bill Says:


  2. Pat Snyder Says:

    He was. Now have to find his just-released collection, Horoscopes for the Dead. Random House has some nice excerpts here.

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