Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Day 26: Falling in Love with the World


Ever have days where you're totally in love with the world? 

Poets do. Not all the time, but sometimes. Sometimes, everything is mysterious and beautiful and awe-inspiring. The best kind of love. Which prompts us to write about it of course.

Like Billy Collins here, whose usual deadpan voice is moved into a subtle wonderment at the ordinary-cum-extraordinary everyday things. The line 'But my heart is always propped up in a field on its tripod, ready for the next arrow' is the best description I've read yet of what poets do: being aware and awaiting the next outburst of love, hearts at the ready to capture it. Like he has done here.

Ever have days where you fall in love with the world? Read some poetry. It will speed up the process.


Aimless Love - Billy Collins

This morning as I walked along the lakeshore,
I fell in love with a wren
and later in the day with a mouse
the cat had dropped under the dining room table.

In the shadows of an autumn evening,
I fell for a seamstress
still at her machine in the tailor’s window,
and later for a bowl of broth,
steam rising like smoke from a naval battle.

This is the best kind of love, I thought,
without recompense, without gifts,
or unkind words, without suspicion,
or silence on the telephone.

The love of the chestnut,
the jazz cap and one hand on the wheel.

No lust, no slam of the door –
the love of the miniature orange tree,
the clean white shirt, the hot evening shower,
the highway that cuts across Florida.

No waiting, no huffiness, or rancor –
just a twinge every now and then

for the wren who had built her nest
on a low branch overhanging the water
and for the dead mouse,
still dressed in its light brown suit.

But my heart is always propped up
in a field on its tripod,
ready for the next arrow.

After I carried the mouse by the tail
to a pile of leaves in the woods,
I found myself standing at the bathroom sink
gazing down affectionately at the soap,

so patient and soluble,
so at home in its pale green soap dish.
I could feel myself falling again
as I felt its turning in my wet hands
and caught the scent of lavender and stone.

1 comment:

  1. This is such a beautiful poem; I've never read it before, or heard of the poet, so thank you for.introducing me to something completely new. I love it. It describes the all encompassing love for life I feel on some amazing, lucky days.

    ReplyDelete

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