Friday, April 23, 2010

The Trouble with Poetry by Billy Collins

Billy Collins is one of my favorite poets. I really enjoy reading his poems that have touches of wry humor in them and yet still speak to serious subjects. Since April is National Poetry Month, I selected one of Collins’s poems on the subject of poetry. I hope you like this poem as much as I do. It’s entitled The Trouble with Poetry. Here’s how the poem begins:

From The Trouble with Poetry
by Billy Collins

The trouble with poetry, I realized
as I walked along the 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 quietly close our notebooks
and sit with our hands folded on our desks.

You can read the rest of the poem here:

Here’s a video of Collins reading his poem:


At Wild Rose Reader, I have another extensive mask poem post with some original poems--including Sole Song--and links to resources for those interested in writing their own point-of-view poems or for teachers who’d like to do a lesson on writing mask poems in their classrooms.

At Political Verses, I have an original poem entitled A Chicken for a Checkup: A Poem about Sue Lowden.

Anastasia Suen has the Poetry Friday Roundup at Picture Book of the Day.


Jeannine Atkins said...

Billy Collins is one of my favorite poets, too. I love the clips you offer us! Thank you. And for your comment on my lj blog today. I've been so enjoying the richness of poetry month online, feasting on so many poems and those who love them.

Elaine Magliaro said...


Collins is great! I heard an interview with him on NPR a few years ago. I'd love to hear him speak in person some day.

Another of my Billy Collins favorite poems: "Another Reason Why I Don't Keep a Gun in the House"

The celebration of poetry during National Poetry Month in the kidlitosphere has been fantastic this year!

Mary Lee said...

YAY! Poetry Friday is always more fun when Billy visits!

Elaine Magliaro said...

Mary Lee,

Billy's my poetry man! There are lots of videos of him reading his poems. I'm sure he'll come for a visit here again some Friday.