Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Break Out Your Tuxes and Diane Von Furstenberg Dresses!

Poor Poet, Carl Spitzweg, 1839

It's April! The cruelest month, as well as National Poetry Month! It's a very exciting time because you get to see all the poets dressed up in their finest...err...Converse with duct tape holding the soles on. I can joke like that because I am a painter and pull in about as much annually as a poet. Chuck Close once said that painters like poets so much because they are just as poor.

I think actually, that the endeavor and process is quite similar. Plus I like the poet point of view. Carefully considerate of things, just from a different place.

At any rate I thought this would be a good poem to kick off the celebration. It is by Billy Collins from his book The Trouble With Poetry. A favorite of mine to be sure.

You, Reader

I wonder how you are going to feel
when you find out
that I wrote this instead of you,

that it was I who got up early
to sit in the kitchen
and mention with a pen

the rain-soaked windows,
the ivy wallpaper,
and the goldfish circling in its bowl.

go ahead and turn aside,
bite your lip and tear out the page,
but, listen- it was just a matter of time

before one of us happened
to notice the unlit candles
and the clock humming on the wall.

Plus, nothing happened that morning-
a song on the radio,
a car whistling along the road outside-

and I was only thinking
about the shakers of salt and pepper
that were standing side by side on a place mat.

I wondered if they had become friends
after all these years
or if they were still strangers to one another

like you and I
who manage to be known and unknown
to each other at the same time-

me at this table with a bowl of pears,
you leaning in a doorway somewhere
near some blue hydrangeas, reading this.

There is also a cool animated short for his poem Forgetfulness here.

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