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Sunday, July 05, 2009

Your Sunday Poem

From Billy Collins new book of poetry, “Ballistics.



Tension

Never use the word suddenly just to create tension.
--Writing Fiction

Suddenly, you were planting some yellow petunias
outside in the garden,
and suddenly I was in the study
looking up the word oligarchy for the thirty-seventh
time.

When suddenly, without warning,
you planted the last petunia in the flat,
and I suddenly closed the dictionary
now that I was reminded of that vile form of
governance.

A moment later, we found ourselves
standing suddenly in the kitchen
where you suddenly opened a can of cat food
and I just as suddenly watched you doing that.

I observed a window of leafy activity
and beyond that, a bird perched on the edge
of the stone birdbath
when suddenly you announced you were leaving
to pick up a few things at the market
and I stunned you by impulsively
pointing out that we were getting low on butter
and another case of wine would not be a bad idea.

Who could tell what the next moment would hold?
another drip from the faucet?
another little spasm of the second hand?
Would the painting of a bowl of pears continue

to hang on the wall from that nail?
Would the heavy anthologies remain on their shelves?
Would the stove hold its position?
Suddenly, it was anyone’s guess.

The sun rose ever higher in the sky.
The state capitals remained motionless on the wall map
when suddenly I found myself lying on a couch
where I closed my eyes and without any warning

began to picture the Andes, of all places,
and a path that led over the mountains to another
country
with strange customs and eye-catching hats,
each one suddenly fringed with colorful little tassels.

4 comments:

annerallen said...

This is one of my favorite Billy Collins poems! I love the new look of your blog.

I have a new blog too. Come on over and check it out. This week's post is about the unsolicited criticism writers get: "Everybody's a Critic." http://annerallen.blogspot.com/

Bev. De Witt-Moylan said...

"Things to know about the future. #1: It doesn't have to look any particular way, but around here, if it doesn't, a lot of people will never speak to you again"
(storypeople.com)

Churadogs said...

Anne, great. I'll email you to see if it's o.k. I can add a link. Been fooling around with the new bog template. Still a hopeless Luddite, but at least it doesn't look as boring.

Bev: hahahahah.

franc4 said...

I think Anne writes good, like you in the same genre, like. Guess I will have to put her on my favorites list, too and look up some of her books, even.
As for her ideas about non-critic critics, I think it's healthy to hear from now critics because we are more down to earth on some stuff. For instance, when I wrote my paper, "A case for the Tooth Fairy" when graduationg from ICS Dental Technician School (which was published in the Dental Technicians Annual), I got lots of non-critic criticism. It helped me alot with my next paper..."Candy Is Dandy, but Sex Won't Rot Your Teeth."
(I had to look up "Luddite".)
PS: I like the new look of your blog, too)