Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Dad has this poem tacked up on the wall in one of the guest bathrooms in Dallas. I feel it really captures my feelings about the day, except for the espresso of course. I don't need espresso.


Why do we bother with the rest of the day,
the swale of the afternoon,
the sudden dip into evening,

then night with his notorious perfumes,
his many-pointed stars?

This is the best—
throwing off the light covers,
feet on the cold floor,
and buzzing around the house on espresso—

maybe a splash of water on the face,
a palmful of vitamins—
but mostly buzzing around the house on espresso,

dictionary and atlas open on the rug,
the typewriter waiting for the key of the head,
a cello on the radio,

and, if necessary, the windows—
trees fifty, a hundred years old
out there,
heavy clouds on the way
and the lawn steaming like a horse
in the early morning.

In case you are wondering, Billy Collins was the Poet Laureate of the United States from 2001 to 2003. But I think once you're a Poet Laureate you always are. Collins was born in New York City to William and Katherine Collins. Katherine Collins was a nurse who stopped working to raise the couple's only child. Mrs. Collins had the ability to recite verses on almost any subject, which she often did, and cultivated in her young son the love of words, both written and spoken. Billy Collins has been called "The most popular poet in America" by the New York Times.

"All babies are born with a knowledge of poetry, because the lub-dub of the mother's heart is in iambic meter. Life slowly starts to choke the poetry out of us."
-Billy Collins, The Washington Post, 2007